Students preparing to pass the high school equivalency test through the East Central College Adult Education and Literacy program will now have a new opportunity to strengthen their workforce skills.

“In September, we started offering new, online training programs for our students,” said Alice Whalen, director of adult education and literacy. “These courses allow students to gain the knowledge needed for high-demand jobs in the area.”

There are currently 15 new online training options: child development associate, solar power professional, Microsoft office specialist, advanced manufacturing technician, aerospace electrical assembly technician, aerospace quality technician, aerospace structures technician, apprentice toolmaker, cnc lathe production technician, CNC machining center production technician, composites manufacturing and repair technician, drafting and CAD technician, mechatronics and industrial automation technician, quality assurance technician and safety technician.

Two additional on-site classes, introduction to MIG welding and certified nursing assistant, also are available to AEL students.

The full list of classes can be viewed at

“The courses are self-paced,” said Whalen. “The classes are a great complement to our students preparing for the HiSET or learning English as a second language.”

Right now, the classes are not free. However, Whalen says many adult students may be eligible for substantial financial assistance through AEL’s partnerships with the Missouri Job Centers in Rolla and Washington. Scholarships also may be available.