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Adult learners (ages 25+) in the Inland Empire will soon benefit from a new Transition Coach Program developed by GIA and the Returning Adult and Professional Education Action Network Team (ANT). The Bank of America Foundation provided a $40K grant to support the development of the program.

“Growing Inland Achievement is grateful to the Bank of America Foundation for its ongoing partnership and commitment to helping adult learners in the Inland Empire region,” said Ann Marie Sakrekoff, COO at GIA.

The Bank of America Foundation’s commitment to raising the educational and economic outlook of the Inland Empire has supported GIA’s work with returning adults since 2019.  As a result, GIA has established an Adult Learner Action Network Team that is coordinating efforts among education leaders and workforce partners to help adults in the region increase their education levels.

The new Transition Coach Program will support Inland Empire adults 25 years and older who have obtained some college but do not hold a degree or certificate.

“Navigating the higher education system is complex and having dedicated coaches to support student transition is key to student success,” said Emma Diaz, Ed.D., Director, California Adult Education Program, Inland Adult Education Consortium.

According to 2017 census data available on GIA’s Data Dashboard, Inland Empire residents with a Bachelor’s degree earn $24K dollars more on average each year than those with only a high school diploma.

“We have a large number of adults who have some postsecondary credits and may be closer than they realize to earning a degree or certificate,” said Dr. Carlos Ayala, President, and CEO at GIA. “Our goal with these transition coaches is to make the process of returning to college as simple and straightforward as possible.”

Transition coaches will help individuals identify a career path, enroll in the right classes, apply for financial aid, and link them to additional resources such as childcare, transportation, mental health, or other resources that will support them in completing their education.

Planning for the new program is currently underway and additional details will be published through GIA’s website and communication channels.

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