Program helps UNT staff members reach educational goals

Stone

Craig Stone, who works as a Tech II in the Facilities department, dropped out of school in the eighth grade.

But he's getting his high school equivalency diploma, or GED, thanks to the President's EDGE - Employee Directed General Education - which allows employees to study for their GED while working at the university regardless of academic background or language abilities.

Classes are free for participants and the EDGE embodies one of the university's Four Bold Goals to be a national leader in employee relations. It is housed within the College of Education and sponsored by the president's office.

The program currently has more than 40 participants, and has support from departments across campus, Revelle said. Earning a GED can take from one to three years, and scholarships are available for participants to take the GED test.

"We are committed to meeting the wide range of needs of the staff participants," said Carol Revelle, program director and College of Education lecturer. "We have developed the curriculum to flexibly respond to varied academic levels, and we have provided class times that work around the multiple shifts used by the university."

The EDGE underscores the College of Education's mission to prepare professionals and scholars who contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development by starting "at home" and supporting our own UNT family members in their academic pursuits. President's EDGE student Maria Flor Castillo is thankful for the chance to increase her literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

"This program has given me so much hope to reach my goal of learning English," she says. "If I could talk to people who make this program possible, I would want to say thank you for helping! I'm grateful."

During the annual employee giving campaign, President V. Lane Rawlins challenged UNT faculty and staff to support the program and promised to match their gifts to the EDGE dollar-for-dollar. UNT faculty and staff generously answered the challenge by giving more than $4200, which was then doubled to make an even bigger impact on this brand new program.

Additionally, the national Phi Kappa Phi organization awarded the UNT Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi a $2000 grant for their support of the President's EDGE. The One University/One Community Computer Literacy Initiative will help improve the computer literacy skills of the university employees working toward their GED through the President's EDGE.

To support this meaningful initiative, visit the College of Education's giving page and direct your gift to the President's EDGE today.

Excerpts from original InHouse articles by Leslie Wimmer and Jessica DeLeón, URCM. Photo by Michael Clements.