PHOENIX (June 13, 2023) – A larger space and updated technology are just two of the many benefits students will enjoy when visiting the Adult Education Center’s new location in Mesa. The Frank X. Gordon Adult Education Center, which is supported by the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department and receives grant funding from the Arizona Department of Education, moved to the Southeast Justice Center in March and is now open to any member of the community.
“We offer Adult Basic Education, GED test preparation and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes as part of our services. We also have a workforce coordinator at that location and people can make appointments to work on their resume and their interviewing skills,” said Adult Education Program Manager Kristi Wimmer. “We also have a digital literacy program for people who need to build computer and internet skills, including courses on how to be safe on the internet, how to not be a victim of a scam online. It’s a free program available for all students.”
The FXG Adult Education Center was previously located inside the Mesa Adult Probation office but recently moved to the new Southeast Justice Center facility along with four Justice Courts.
“We went from having one large, one-size-fits-all classroom with computers and all the students were in one room classroom, which was challenging. Now we have two separate spaces, we have a classroom space and we have a computer lab/tutoring space,” said Wimmer.
Wimmer hopes that the new and more public-facing location will translate to more students not only being aware of the program but also registering for their classes. The Frank X. Gordon Adult Education program offers in-person classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. to make it convenient for any student who wishes to further their education.
“It was hard to find us before, and it wasn’t that easy for people to seek out, especially people from the community, sometimes even the justice-involved individuals themselves. But in this new building, we are in the public area of the courthouse. So, anyone going to Family Court, anyone going to the Justice Courts or any of the other areas, they will be walking by our classrooms and seeing our signs and knowing that our resources are available,” said Wimmer.
On their first visit, students ages 16 and older are typically given an education assessment to help teachers obtain a better understanding of the student’s needs and identify possible areas of improvement. The program’s state-certified teachers provide students with the support and guidance they need to move forward with their life goals.
The FXG Adult Education Program services are connected to workforce and/or college and career training through an established seven-year partnership with the Smart Justice Program from ARIZONA@WORK, Maricopa County. The ARIZONA@WORK Smart Justice Program is a specialized team of career and workforce advisors who support and work specifically with justice-involved individuals to address specific obstacles individuals face when job searching.
During the last year, 337 individuals began the program registration process, with 172 of those completing registration testing/orientation and attending at least 12 hours of instruction.
The Adult Education Center in Mesa is now located inside the Southeast Justice Center at 222 E. Javelina Avenue.