Sevier School District has added a series of computer classes to its adult education program that is making it easier for adults to get their high school diplomas.

The Cedar Ridge High School, which has a 32-station computer labe, also enhances the program.The school has become important in the district's education program because its computer system allows students to work at their own speed in an individualized setting. Popularity of the school is increasing because it accommodates non-traditional students as well as those in the adult education program, according to Principal Randy Brown.

The adult education program is open-entry, open-exit, so students may enroll or exit any time during the year. Adults may attend either day or night classes. Tuition is free for those who are working on high school diplomas.

Adult students are entitled to two units of credit for work experience, three for military service and five for passing general education tests. Those who get high scores on the tests may also qualify for waiver of some credit. High school graduation requires 24 units of credit. Some classes are elective, but students must complete units in English and language arts, social studies, history, science, computer literacy, arts and physical education.

The program will be expanded if there is sufficient demand, Brown said. Adult education classes may also be held in Monroe and Salina if a minimum of 10 students enroll. Those who have high school diplomas and would like to take the classes may do so, but a fee of $2 per teacher-contact hour will be charged.

Adult students have more flexibility in scheduling and a wider selection of classes to choose from this year because of the new alternative education facility. Teacher roles are also being adapted to more individualized teaching methods, according to Boyd Keisel, assistant superintendent. But he emphasized that teachers are still an important component of the adult education program.

Other adult education programs are also available in the district. Those who are interested in enrolling for any of the courses may contact the Cedar Ridge High School at 896-9464.

District officials expected 15 non-adult students to enroll in the alternative education program at Cedar Ridge High School, but it is so popular that it was necessary to limit the number to 45. Keisel said the philosophy of the district's alternative education program is that students who can achieve self-esteem and become self-directed learners are more likely to become assets to society rather than liabilities.

District officials define non-traditional students at Cedar Ridge as those who do not have academic or social success in the regular high school setting. "These people often face neglect, abuse, drug, alcohol or pregnancy situations," Brown said. "This either prevents learning from taking place or hampers their ability to get the most out of that which is being offered."

Brown said students are encouraged to stay in their home high schools if at all possible, but Cedar Ridge "provided a kind of safety net for those who simply don't fit," as well as an exceptional facility for the district's adult education program.