Adults have GED, college entrance exam options on Key Peninsula

Schools: Pierce County library, TCC offer instruction

of the GatewayMarch 19, 2014 

There are several adult education services available on the Key Peninsula this spring.

A class from Tacoma Community College will be held at Red Barn Community Center. For individualized tutoring, the Key Center branch of the Pierce County Library System will have a team of three tutors available on Thursday mornings.

Rosina Vertz of the Key Center library said the tutoring will be about more than GED success. It also will look to get students ready for community college entrance exams and high school completion.

Jerome McCourt, who taught at TCC for 43 years, is one of the library’s tutors. As an educator, he mainly taught English, but he also taught critical thinking and reading.

“I always loved teaching, and the only thing I didn’t like was having to grade students,” McCourt said.

He said he had a hard time labeling students, but tutoring is different.

“It’s more like coaching, rather than teaching,” McCourt said.

Tutoring allows McCourt to boost students’ confidence, give them advice and monitor outcomes.

“It’s really rewarding to see the progress they make,” he said.

Tutor John Ellickson said the topics are not limited to any subject or program. The three tutors want to help broaden adult education options on the Key Peninsula, he said.

“I don’t want to limit this to the GED program or any college program,” Ellickson said. “I would like to keep it broad. All three of us (tutors) want to provide whatever services we’re capable of providing to anyone who’s interested.”

Tutoring will be available from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays at the library, 8905 Key Peninsula Highway N., Lakebay. To make an appointment, call 253-548-3309.

The TCC class hosted by the Red Barn center will run through the college’s spring quarter and begin March 31. It will cost $25 to register.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached by email at

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