For those desiring to earn their high school diploma, the Adult Education Center at the Village Square Mall offers open enrollment for people ages 18 and older.

With the flexible hours and an online program, students can complete the required credits in order to graduate at their own convenience.

”You have to have 15 required credits, which are four credits of English, three credits of math, three credits of science, three credits of social science, one fine art credit and one P.E. credit and then six elective credits,” AEC coordinator Pam Gleason said of the curriculum. “So, we’re based on 21 credits.”

Partnered with Dodge City USD 443 and the Southwest Regional Service Center based in Sublette, the Adult Education Center has been helping people earn their diplomas since 2001.

The average number of enrollments as stated by Gleason, is “between 150 and 175. Some years the classes are bigger, of course."

Gleason, who has been at the center for five years, says that while the center's overall goal is to graduate students, it’s important that they encourage them to keep going and to acknowledge efforts put toward the coursework.

“I send out reminders every week by email," Gleason said. “I either remind them to get on their class because our requirements, we want them to get online at least once a week for 30 minutes or more.

“If they haven’t that week, I usually send them a reminder.”

Understanding that some people work very different hours, Gleason highlights that all their coursework is online so students can fit it into their schedule and that people need to come and take their tests in person.

When asked, she agreed that the center's program is more personal and direct when it comes to giving students the answers to questions they may have and the access to help they may need to succeed.

“Definitely," she said. “To get to see their faces when I tell them they’ve graduated or hear their voice over the phone when I tell them, it’s pretty rewarding.”

Requiring a $10 enrollment fee and a photo ID, the Adult Education Center is open for enrollment all year long. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

Assistance for Spanish-speaking students is available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, contact the Adult Education Center at 620-225-5239.