Phyllis J. Kelley is the Director of Adult Learning at Central Alabama Community College.
She is also the President of the Alabama Adult Education Director’s Association and serving an appointment on the WIOA Workforce Board for Region 2 (East Alabama). Phyllis has over 18 years of experience in the adult education field, including experience delivering professional development presentations on the local, state, and regional levels.
What led you to pursue a career in adult education?
While working as a store manager for a women’s clothing store, I felt a desire to give back to my community. I asked around about volunteer opportunities and heard there were free GED and literacy classes nearby. About a week later, I decided to register as a volunteer tutor. So, I drove over to Central Alabama Community College (CACC) and met with the Director of the Adult Education (AE) Program. During our conversation about volunteer opportunities, the Program Director asked me to apply for a vacant position in the department. At the end of our meeting, the AE Director walked me down the hallway to the HR office. A few months later, I started this wonderful new journey in the field of Adult Education. Fast forward 18 years later, I am still employed in Adult Education at CACC. Now, as the Program Director.
What do adult educators need most to help their learners succeed?
There are so many needs. The one thing that is needed the most is resources. Whether it is additional trained classroom volunteers, childcare, transportation, or whatever a student needs to address barriers. Our students have so many real-life issues that must be addressed, so they can have a clear mind and be ready to learn when they enter the classroom. Additional resources will have the greatest impact on learner success.
What do you find most rewarding about the work that you do?
Helping people succeed. Seeing the change that takes place in how many of our students see themselves and their futures is extremely rewarding. It’s those lightbulb moments that end with a student having a big smile on his/her face as they realize they know the answer to a problem. Providing people with opportunities for a second chance to complete their secondary education and enroll in college or start a career that pays a family-sustaining wage, is also very rewarding.
What excites you the most about being a member of the GED Board of Directors?
Working behind the scenes to help bring light to issues that impact people’s lives and having the opportunity to help create real, lasting solutions.
What hobbies/activities do you appreciate outside of your work?
I love cooking, attending wine tasting events, reading, and taking Zumba classes. Spending time with my beautiful, fun, and loving family is always great. Another thing I really enjoy is teaching Sunday School classes.
Phyllis J. Kelley Full Bio
Phyllis J. Kelley is the Director of Adult Learning at Central Alabama Community College. She is also the President of the Alabama Adult Education Director’s Association and serving an appointment on the WIOA Workforce Board for Region 2 (East Alabama). Phyllis joined the GED Testing Service Board in 2021.
Phyllis has over 18 years of experience in the adult education field, including experience delivering professional development presentations on the local, state, and regional levels. In 2009 she received an Award of Excellence in recognition for her dedicated service to the Alabama Community College System’s mission. As a board member, Phyllis is excited to work with GED Testing Service to further its commitment to improving the GED test program experience, resulting in better outcomes for students of color.
She has a Master’s in Business Administration from Jacksonville State University, a graduate certificate in Accounting from DeVry University, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Huntingdon College.