Adult Learning Center Director earns national honors

Bridget Hanlan, director of the Adult Learning Center located at Lake Region State College received national accolades for her leadership and dedication to adult education.

On April 29th during the 2022 Mountain Plains Adult Education annual conference in Tempe, Ariz., Bridget Hanlan, was announced as the recipient of the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association Award of Merit. 

The Mountain Plains Adult Education Association Award of Merit is given to honor an individual who has made an outstanding contribution towards furthering the concept of adult education. This is the highest award given by the nine state association. 

Bridget was nominated for this award because “she continuously goes above and beyond to reinvent the Region III Adult Learning Center to make it one of the most successful centers in North Dakota.”
A few of the nomination letter highlights:

  • Bridget took the initiative and created a new position of a College and Career Readiness Specialist in her center who could tackle the lack of soft skills training available to high school age students. More than 1,700 students in the Lake Region (and beyond) have received this fundamental course.
  • Her colleagues across the state always remark: “Oh, that Bridget is one smart lady.” “Bridget sure knows her stuff.” “Bridget should have been my first contact. Always ready, willing and able to help. She has a great attitude as well.”
  • “Bridget has earned credibility and respect not only in her community, but in the state and the entire U.S. for her innovative approach to education.”
  • Bridget’s philosophy is simple: there is no “boss” and there are no “employees” in her center. We are a TEAM working for the same goal and the only way to get there is together.
  • When the pandemic hit, she was the “go to girl” for advice to centers who were scrambling to handle the crisis. She quickly had a plan in place and guided her peers through the transition.

Over the last 4 years Hanlan has been a part of the North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning’s conference committee, held offices as Scholarship Chair, Vice President and President.  

In July 2020, Bridget was recognized by the Governor during his Education Summit as the recipient of the InnovateND Award for encouraging a collaborative culture. In Sept. 2021 she was the recipient of the NDALL Leadership and Service Award.

The  Adult Learning Center and satellite sites are open to serve the public who need basic education and secondary education services.  Contact each center for specific office hours, registration protocol, services, classes and GED testing schedules as this varies with each Center. 

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction receives federal funds under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunities Act, Or WIOA - Title II and state funds (NDCC 15.1-26) to support the operations and free programs of the Adult Learning Centers who serve individuals who: 

  • are at least 16 years of age
  • are not enrolled in high school
  • do not have a high school diploma
  • are mandated by State Law
  • may lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills
  • cannot speak, read, or write the English language.

Services available in each Adult Learning Center include: reading/writing, science, social studies, math, digital literacy skills, English Language acquisition for adults who are unable to read, speak or write English, workplace and career planning and readiness, and GED® preparation and testing.