Natalie Villarreal, assistant director of Del Mar College (DMC) Adult Education and Literacy, visited with the Alice Rotary Club Wednesday to discuss a $2 million grant DMC received.

According to Villarreal, the money awarded to DMC in 2014 is being used for General Education Development (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL) and Adult Basic Education (SBE) for people in the Coastal Bend area including Jim Wells, Duval and Nueces County.

GED is to prepare individuals to pass the Texas High School Equivalency Exam. The four subjects include language arts writing/reading, social studies, science and mathematics.

ESL improves listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English and ABE is to improve basic literacy skills.

The White House challenge community colleges called the 21st Century Initiative Challenge. The challenge from President Barak Obama stated that by 2020 community colleges would educate an additional five million students with degrees, certificates and other credentials.

“Right now, besides Nueces County, home to Del Mar, Alice is our second biggest center where we'll be providing services from the Adult Education standpoint,” Villarreal stated.

Classes are being taught at the Alice Armory on the 1200 block of North Cameron and currently have 90 students who registered in January. Classes are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. till 12 p.m., 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. till 9 p.m.

DMC's number goals are to enroll and retain 2,204 in the GED, ESL and ABE programs and to have the students to enter the workforce, transition to get an Associates Degree or both.

“In six months, students will be working and contributing to the community,” Villarreal said. “Del Mar College encourages all students.”

Due to the grant DMC receive the classes are free and attendees may qualify for a scholarship to help pay for the GED test, according to Villarreal.

The next orientation is on Tuesday, April 11 at the armory from 12 p.m. till 6 p.m.

For more information call 361-698-1748 or visit www.delmar.edu/ged.