Optional Education (High School Credit)
Optional Education is a collaborative effort by the six Rock Island County public secondary school systems, Black Hawk College, the Regional Superintendent of Schools and the Youth Service Bureau to provide educational alternatives for truant and dropout youth. Students may earn high school credits leading to a diploma or prepare for GED® testing. Additional support services are available.
Designed to meet the needs of the younger (16-18 years old) GED® student, Optional Education GED® classes help students with few high school credits prepare for the GED® exam which, in turn, will qualify them for employment or postsecondary education.
Early School Leaver Transition Program
This program serves 16- to 21-year-old Optional Education high school credit or GED® students who are interested in exploring employment and postsecondary educational options. Career services offered include: self-assessment and career exploration; résumé, cover letter and interview preparation; job search techniques; training in employer expectations; job placement assistance; and guidance with transition to college. For more information, call 309-796-8252.
Stark County Youth Assistance Program
The Stark County Youth Assistance Program is supported by Career Link through a Workforce Investment Act grant. It provides support for qualified youth ages 16-21 to complete their high-school-level education then successfully enter work or postsecondary training. Special support and tutoring is provided to help students succeed academically when they may have struggled in the past.
- FREE practice/prep for GED®
- GED® test funding
- Financial incentives for student progress
- Job skills/interview training
- Assistance creating a powerful résumé
- Paid work experience
- Transportation assistance
- Opportunities to try out careers in welding, health care, computers, auto repair, office professions and more!
Our staff provides individualized coaching to help participants develop their character and plan for their future. For more information, call 309-854-1875.
Stark County Youth Advisor
Black Hawk College
Community Education Center
404 E. Third St., Kewanee, IL
Career Link Case Manager
115 S. Franklin St., Toulon, IL
Training for Employment and Academic Mastery (T.E.A.M.) Program
The Training for Employment and Academic Mastery (T.E.A.M.) program is a Workforce Investment Act initiative designed to help qualified youth complete their basic education and successfully transition to work or postsecondary training. In addition to academic training, the program specializes in résumé-building, career exploration, workforce preparation, occupational and soft skill training, and individualized counseling to address character development. T.E.A.M. is available at all Adult Education facilities managed by Black Hawk College in Rock Island County. For more information, call 309-796-8242.
FAQs: Optional Education Program High School & Youth GED®
If you are still in high school, you must meet with your school counselor to be referred to the Optional Education Programs. If you are not currently enrolled in high school, call 309-755-3300 for registration information.
GED® graduates are eligible to enroll in college classes. While GED® graduates with high GED® and college entrance scores may go directly to a four-year institution, many begin college at a community college like Black Hawk College. A college-bound GED® student should strive to earn scores that are higher than the minimum passing score. The student should also consider enrolling in keyboarding and introductory computer classes. Typing and computer skills will make the transition to college much easier.
GED® students prepare to demonstrate that they have the same skills as the average high school graduate in five fields: Literature and the Arts, Writing Skills, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics. Students are tested when they enroll to help determine what areas need attention. Instructors then work with students to design a program that meets individual needs.
Students have the potential to earn credit more quickly in their home schools. Students who complete a full schedule of classes at the home school have the potential to earn 7 credits per year. Optional Education has a shorter day (4 or 5 hours), so students can only expect to complete 4 to 5 credits during an academic year. Some students earn less due to poor attendance or productivity
Cooperating schools require students to attend a class for a specified number of hours per 0.5 credit. While in attendance, students must complete the required assigned work at a passing level. Each class completed is worth one-half credit. Credit cannot be earned unless both attendance and work requirements are met.