Carol Poole is a program instructor for the Adult Education Program at Denso Manufacturing. Denso partnered with BCVision’s GED taskforce and Battle Creek Public Schools to offer employees a chance to earn their General Education Degree (GED).
Carol earned her GED in the 1970s. She went on to college and received a teaching certificate in elementary and special education. She also has a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Over the years, Carol has worked as a teacher and even had her own private practice. She then came out of retirement to continue pursuing her passion in education.
Helping Students Succeed
As a program instructor, Carol helps assess each student’s skills individually and then creates a plan for them to reach their goal of earning a GED or high school equivalency. She then teaches the curriculum. Carol even administers the tests that students must pass to earn their degrees. In addition to the academic portion, the students also learn soft skills which help them become better employees.
Carol goes above and beyond when it comes to helping students succeed and reach their goals. She meets students where they are and lets them learn at their own pace. She’s willing to work with students one-on-one and on weekends. She even provides snacks at her lessons!
Carol strives to change the perspective about learning. She believes education should be fun and exciting. She tells her students, “If you’re not having fun, I’m doing it wrong.” Her sense of humor and compassion helps her build relationships and figure out each student’s learning style.
Carol says the fear of failure can sometimes hold students back. She believes that with grit and commitment, anyone can earn their GED, no matter how long it takes. “The first step is the hardest and if you can dream it, we can help you do it,” Carol said.
Keeping the Momentum Going
Getting a GED can help elevate and enrich students’ lives in many ways. Carol believes it has a ripple effect, but it begins with education. She says education builds pride and self-esteem. As people develop a sense of pride in themselves, they also begin to develop a sense of pride in where they live.
The Adult Education Program at Denso Manufacturing impacts the lives of the students but also the lives of their children, grandchildren and eventually the community as a whole.
Many students come in with the goal to just get their GEDs. Over time, the students learn the value of education and that leads to curiosity and interest in other things like politics, financial literacy, skill trades, pursuing a college degree, etc. Carol’s goal is for the program to grow and encompass all the manufacturing companies in the Fort Custer area, so that employees at each company have this opportunity to earn their GED. “The more the program grows, the more lives we change,” Carol said.
The Best Part
Carol says the best part of her position is working with her team and the students she serves. Carol loves the relationships she builds with the students.
Getting her GED changed Carol’s life. “[Adult Education] is my passion, and I think it’s because I’m a GED grad, and I know all the doors that it opens to life.” Carol says she feels privileged to be a part of the students’ journey and success and she appreciates that they remember her down the line. Many students have reached out to her after graduation to thank her for helping them reach their goal.
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