As a life coach for the Hinds Adult Education Program, Hyde Heckman provides support to adults who wish to continue their education.
âSome people see us as advisers,â Heckman said of his work. âWe help students with anything they might need outside of class. For example, questioning skills, resumes, career options and removing barriers for our students on anything that would prevent them from coming to class or not being able to complete their studies.
The Noblesville resident, who has worked with the Hinds Adult Education Program for over five years, serves as a daytime life coach for the Elwood, Noblesville and Anderson sites. There is also a nightlife coach.
The Hinds Adult Education Program offers free classes in Hamilton, Madison and Tipton counties.
Classes are held at Ivy Tech Hamilton County in Noblesville from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. There are classes Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Westfield Middle School. There are sites in Alexandria, Anderson and Elwood. Classes are free and funded by the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development.
âThey want us to educate these people so that they can be better educated to have a better workforce,â Heckman said. “There are a lot of people in Indiana who don’t have a high school diploma or who have a lot of education.”
The classes helped prepare students for the High School Equivalency Test (HSE / HiSET), which was officially known as GED.
The HiSET test gives adults the opportunity to graduate from high school without having to earn 40 hours of high school credits. The High School Equivalency Diploma (HSE) is obtained by passing the HiSET test. Indiana previously used the GED and TASC tests, but switched to the HiSET test in 2021.
The other objectives of the courses are to perfect academic skills for the college and to enroll in vocational training and preparation for certification; helping adult children with homework or schoolwork, preparing to be a certified paraprofessional school assistant, and learning English for those who speak English as a new language.
Heckman said the classes are available to all adults, regardless of their academic level. All classes are taught by qualified teachers. Anyone 16 years of age or older who has lived in Indiana in the past 30 days is eligible. Also eligible to take the HiSET test are those who are not currently enrolled in or graduated from an accredited high school.
New this year is the HSE Boot Camp, which will be held three Saturdays at Ivy Tech Hamilton County in Noblesville. Applicants to the class must pre-qualify through admission tests for new students. The first started on September 11, but another training camp will be held in April 2022.
Classes usually start right after July 4th and run year round. Those interested can call 765-552-4122 to register for free classes or visit hindscareercenter.org/programs-careers/adult-education-training/adult-basic-education-abe.