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ESL Adult

ESL Secondary: Benefits of Adult High School

By Martina Lambiase

As a recently certified school counselor, I was looking for a non-traditional program that would allow me to experience a population unfamiliar to me, for change and challenges are things that I enjoy.  When I applied to the Perth Amboy Adult Education Center, I was not exactly sure what type of environment that I would be working in.  Today I can say that I work in a transitioning environment with a growing and greatly diverse population and I could not be happier.

As the Adult High School Counselor, I work with a large portion of ESL students that, due to unforeseen circumstances, were unable to complete their high school education in their district.  This program allows such students to acquire their Adult High School Diploma through our thirty-five credit-hour/2 semesters per year day program, or our twenty credit-hour/6-cycles per year evening program. 

Working as the adult high school counselor in this program allows me to dedicate a large portion of my time with the students which I enjoy and feel is extremely beneficial to them.  As previously stated, these students, due to unforeseen circumstances, were unable during their originating high school career to complete their credits required for their diplomas.  I feel that our program allows these students to gain the skills needed to succeed in obtaining their diplomas.  This school works hard at maintaining a small community feel; our staff continuously works to build relationships with our students and maintain a rapport that these students may otherwise not experience.  Our students benefit from our small class size, our student-centered approach, and our multiple interventions that we employ in hopes to aid the students in obtaining their goals.

As administrators, educators, or staff, we are all more than aware of the feelings we experience when we are able to see a student succeed.  As an employee of this school, I am able to see students grow and positively develop on a daily basis and I look forward to them becoming contributors to their community and continue to take part in life-long learning.  This program provides our students with a second opportunity that is not otherwise readily available and I am honored to be part of the process.  It is now my objective to aid these students by educating myself about the local resources that are available, such as this organization, as well as getting to meet any and all members that have any insight or suggestions that will enable me to provide these students with the best that they deserve.         

Martina J. Lambiase, M.A. is a Perth Amboy Adult High School Counselor and may be reached at martdoncheski@paps.net .