SkillSource

Photo Courtesy: Moses Lake SkillSource

MOSES LAKE - The "Open Doors" program at SkillSource will soon be no longer in September.

iFIBER ONE News confirmed on Thursday afternoon program will only be offered at Big Bend Community College.

Moses Lake School District Director of Student Services Dave Balcom says there wasn't anything negative that led to the decision.

"The Moses Lake School District has had a 30-year relationship with SkillSource. There wasn't anything negative that has caused us to not renew the contract. This year, an open doors program was offered at Big Bend Community College and SkillSource," Balcom said.

"This decision wasn't related to a cost reduction. In September, there will be only one open doors program at Big Bend Community College," Balcom added.

Balcom also explained both programs are nearly identical. However, the program at Big Bend Community College provides students a way to advance their education. 

An instructor at SkillSource said 48 students will be graduating from the program and was disappointed by the decision.

"This will cause the Open Doors program to close. Anything pertaining to GED will be done probably by December," an instructor said Thursday afternoon.

"The school district has chosen Big Bend Community College instead of us. Thursday's graduation will be our last since the program is going to close," SkillSource employee Michelle De La Rosa stated.

In June of 2018, Big Bend Community College announced a partnership with the Moses Lake School District, offering the program.

The Open Doors program, which began in September of last year, assists school districts in providing individualized and flexible educational opportunities for those ages 16 to 21 that have faced challenges in traditional school environments.

The program is aimed specifically at students not expected to graduate from high school by the age of 21; students can qualify if they are at least 16 and significantly credit deficit under certain criteria.

“I am thrilled to enter into this partnership with Big Bend Community College in service to our students,” Moses Lake School District Superintendent Josh Meek stated in June of 2018. “As a school district we are always seeking the best way to reach all students, and this new Open Doors program with BBCC literally opens new doors and educational opportunities to meet the needs of our students.”

The Open Doors program links those who qualify to the services needed to return to education with multiple pathways including high school completion, GED attainment, work preparation and training, and college coursework and associates’ degree completion.

“The beautiful thing about Open Doors is that it makes the entire college curriculum available to students including ESL, high school completion and college courses,” Dr. Bryce Humpherys, vice president of Learning and Student Success said last year.