The Education Program-DoorWay to Knowledge
Open Door Mission’s Center for Education and Career Guidance is a critical component that separates our Program from others.
Education in the 21st century is more than ever a prerequisite for employment opportunity and success. Abusing substances at any age prevents learning and intellectual development from occurring. It is impossible to simultaneously have learning retention and abuse substances.
However, education is the first step out of poverty. Therefore, Open Door Mission requires all men in the DoorWay Recovery Program to complete a specified number of hours of academic education each week (the required hours vary based on education level testing at entry and then progressively) during their stay in computer-based instruction to become computer literate, ready for additional academic and technical education or employable. Men with the potential and desire to obtain a GED are enrolled in a self-paced curriculum and, with the help of volunteer and peer tutors, they can aim for passage of all 4 parts (math, science, social studies, and literature) of the examination prior to their graduation from the Mission.
The minimum objective of the Education Program is to establish basic reading and writing skills, basic math and computer literacy. The manager of the Education Program constantly refers to this daily routine as a “Do Over” opportunity, and to not pass up on this time to learn what was not learned during elementary and middle school. When testing indicates that a student is at grade level 9, he is assessed for GED candidacy.
Each client is given an educational assessment using the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) early in his stay to diagnose and identify his personal skill level and aptitude and educational grade equivalency level. From the results come a customized academic curriculum, with emphasis on his weaknesses, is created for his improvement based on his personal performance. This computerized program is self-paced and available to each client for daily preparation for regular evaluations of his progress. In order to begin to function in our computer-based society, computer literacy is required, including typing and functional use of the Microsoft Office software (Office, Word, and Excel), most commonly used in job placement opportunities. We are fortunate to have many Mission volunteers who provide additional support as tutors for clients who need one-on-one drill and instruction to achieve academic progress.