Now is the time to finish: GED program changing

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Arkansas Northeastern College Adult Education Coordinator Beth Thompson wants to remind everyone there are only about 400 days left before the G.E.D. program changes.

Karen Denton (sitting at the computer) is coming back to ANC in Leachville to work on finishing the GED program. The mother of three said she wants to be a role model for her children and she can get a better job if she finishes her GED. She plans to go on to college at ANC. Pictured with Denton is Beth Thompson (right) adult coordinator for ANC, and Susan Robinson, instructor.

"We are now in the 2002 testing series which will end in December of 2013," Thompson said. "Once it changes, those who have taken the test and not passed all parts of the test, will have to start all over. Also, there will be a charge for the test."

Thompson explained there are five parts of the test and now students only have to take the portion of the tests they did not pass. For instance if a person passed everything but math, they would only have to test again in the math. The cut-off date will be Dec. 15, 2013.

The new series will be based on the Common Core curriculum being used in high school. The five sections of the test will go to four. The tests will be computerized so students will need to learn subject matter and computer skills. There will be more writing with short answers and less multiple choice question. There will be a more open response. The essay portion in language will change. It will be more of a mini research paper.

Thompson said Arkansas is looking at charging around $125 for the test.

"I want to encourage people, especially those who have started the GED program, to complete it before the new series begins," Thompson said. "They can earn their high school equivalency and go on to further their education or into the workforce. It is a program designed to meet their individual goals."

ANC has locations in Leachville, Blytheville, Osceola, and Paragould for adult education.

The first step to finishing is starting. Thompson said students can com in for an academic assessment. This assists them knowing where their leaning gaps are and preparing for the GED test. They also help students who want to go on to college with the eCompass entrance test for ANC.

"We are here to help individuals get ready to test," Thompson said. "We can schedule time to take the eCompass tests at Leachville."

For more information students can call the main campus in Blytheville or the Leachville facility at (870) 539-2393.

"We have a great staff at all of our facilities," Thompson said.

The Leachville staff consists of Susan Robinson, day instructor; Sarah Imler, the evening instructor; and Candie DePriest, career coach. Assisting students in information about services are Annette Beach and Donna Austin. Barbara Baker is also part of the Pathway Program who assists students who have children at home and want to return to the classroom. Nancy Fergus is also available to help with financial aid information. Nancy and Barbara are available by appointments.

ANC Leachville is located at 105 So. Main Street and is open four days a week: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Night classes are held from 4-6 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Students can come in at their convenience.

There is no charge for the adult education classes.

Some of the other services in addition to the GED preparation and testing is computer literacy, college prep, employability skills, English as a second language, the WAGE which offers certificates in Employability, Customer Service, Clerical, Industrial, and Banking.

Again, Thompson encourages anyone interested in receiving their high school equivalency (GED) certification to come by before the program changes.

"We test often and if an individual does well on the assessment test, they can be ready with only 20-20 hours of instruction," Thompson said. "The GED program is special to me. My mother got her GED when I was 10 years old. It was an inspiration to me. Helping others is rewarding. I know what the GED program did for my mother. These students are setting standards for their children and grandchildren."

There are three locations for GED graduations, Blytheville, Paragould and Leachville.

"We are fortunate in Leachville to have the support of the city of Leachville officials and Moba Lee Miller and the theater committee, open the doors of the Melody for GED graduation ceremony," Thompson said. "Also, the local PEO Chapter hosts a reception following the graduation ceremonies. The community supports our program and we are thankful to them."

Again, the ANC staff is there to help adults with their educational needs.

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