WICHITA — NexStep Alliance, an adult education program, is responding to increased unemployment in Kansas by offering adult learners the opportunity to enroll in virtual classes at no cost. The move came after the program started receiving an influx of calls as more and more Kansans faced furloughs and layoffs due to COVID-19.
“We certainly felt the economic shift,” said Christopher Stanyer, vice president, Career Services of Goodwill Industries of Kansas, “We started taking more and more calls from people who wanted to use this time away from work to enhance their job opportunities on the other side of this pandemic. Since we were already converting to a virtual classroom for our current students, it made sense to make it available to others as well.”
NexStep Alliance is a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Kansas and WSU Tech which offers adult learners a variety of ways to obtain their Kansas high school diploma. There are additional options to earn industry-recognized certifications or attend post-secondary education, if the student chooses. Because the partners fund the cost of the program, students regularly attend classes for free and only are responsible for an annual fee of $50 for materials and books. Currently, this fee is being waived through at least May. While students will need internet access and a web-ready device, NexStep Alliance is working on partnerships to help make this available to those who do not have access.
Adult learners can get more information and enroll at nexstepalliance.org/helps.