Western Nevada College played host Tuesday to a most distinguished adult and technical education advocate. Assistant U.S. Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier paid a visit to the WNC Carson City campus to learn about the college’s highly successful Adult Literacy and Language program and to support adult learning opportunities in our community. Students told their stories about how the college’s high touch, high demand Adult Literacy and Language program, and its GED Boot Camp program have improved their lives and created paths to success. Their stories were as varied as a Nicaraguan immigrant who is highly educated but needed to learn English to succeed as a new American citizen, to local residents from families where they are the first to attend college, and some who took the wrong path as youths and who now want to change. Dr. Dann-Messier also met with WNC President Carol Lucey and instructors from the ALL program. The visit coincides with National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week, September 10-16. It is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour, which brings U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Reno for a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12, where he and community leaders will focus on the cost of and access to higher education. Dr. Dann-Messier’s background includes experience as an adult educator. She said WNC is on the right track with its learning strategies that are both demanding and nurturing to students. Her vision of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education is for all youths and adults to have multiple opportunities to obtain lifelong education and training in order to achieve rewarding careers and family lives, participate in their communities, and achieve their personal goals.