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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


More youth in Seattle will complete high school, earn a college degree and achieve career goals under a new partnership

Summary

Learning Center Seattle – a new collaboration between King County, Seattle Central College, United Way of King County and Seattle Education Access – will help some of Seattle’s most vulnerable youth finish high school, earn a college degree and achieve their career goals.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine is leading a new partnership that will help some of Seattle’s most vulnerable youth finish high school, earn a college degree and achieve their career goals.

The new partnership – which includes King County, Seattle Central College, Seattle Education Access, United Way of King County and the Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council – will open a new center in the Central District where students will have access to tuition-free GED prep classes, support services and the opportunity to transfer to any Seattle College program at no cost.

“Education is critical to opportunity, and this partnership opens the doors for youth and young adults in King County,” said Executive Constantine. “At Learning Center Seattle, students will build the knowledge and skills they need to prosper in our dynamic economy and contribute to the well-being of the entire community."

Learning Center Seattle – which will be located in the Central District’s Seattle Vocational Institute – will serve students ages 16 to 21 who lack a high school diploma. Seattle Central College will offer tuition-free GED prep classes to students, who can then enroll in any Seattle College program tuition-free until they turn 21, given they meet the entry requirements for their chosen program.

Case managers will also be on hand to connect students with resources to help them thrive outside of the classroom, including health services and emergency support that help with non-academic barriers such as transportation and childcare.

“Students drop out of high school for a variety of reasons. They face family issues, academic challenges, and lack access to information about their options,” said Seattle Central Interim President Sheila Edwards Lange. “The goal of this new center is to collaboratively help these young adults overcome the hurdles that led them to leave school in the first place.”

Creating a network of support that follows students throughout their academic career

To give students the best possible chance of success, the center offers a network of support that follows students throughout their academic career. King County Department of Community and Human Services, Employment and Education Resources case managers will work one-on-one with students at Learning Center Seattle to help them identify academic and employment goals, and to guide them through the educational process.

“We are creating a pathway to education and opportunity for many youth and young adults in our community who have faced significant barriers to success,” said Adrienne Quinn, Director of King County's Department of Community and Human Services. “This collaboration makes it possible for youth to achieve a career, not just find a job.”

Tutors and educational advocates from Seattle Education Access, a nonprofit organization that provides educational support to struggling young people, also help students with their GED coursework and with navigating higher education. Since students’ barriers persist after they begin college, SEA and King County staff provides continued support during their time in college and help them find a good fit in the workforce after they graduate.

Learning Center Seattle is joining a growing county-wide network of dropout re-engagement sites operating under Washington’s Open Doors dropout retrieval program.  The new center is modeled after Learning Center North, a highly successful program at Shoreline Community College. Around 70 percent of students at Learning Center North transition to college programs. Seattle Central hopes to serve around 100 students during the program’s initial year.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sherry Hamilton, Department of Community and Human Services, 206-263-9010


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Quotes

Education is critical to opportunity, and this partnership opens the doors for youth and young adults in King County,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “At Learning Center Seattle, students will build the knowledge and skills they need to prosper in our dynamic economy and contribute to the well-being of the entire community.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Students drop out of high school for a variety of reasons. They face family issues, academic challenges, and lack access to information about their options. The goal of this new center is to collaboratively help these young adults overcome the hurdles that led them to leave school in the first place.

Sheila Edwards Lange, Interim President of Seattle Central College

We are creating a pathway to education and opportunity for many youth and young adults in our community who have faced significant barriers to success. This collaboration makes it possible for youth to achieve a career, not just find a job.

Adrienne Quinn, Director of King County’s Department of Community and Human Services

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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