GED – Solutions For Increased Demand and Decreased Funding
GED preparation programs around the country are experiencing an overwhelming need for more adult education, at the same time as budgets are being cut. The difficult economy has created severe job loss among adults without a GED or high school diploma. Meanwhile, the same conditions cause governments to tighten the budget strings, and adult education programs are often targets. The increased need and decreased resources cause adult education programs to explore innovative solutions, and increases the need for volunteer-based programs.
The Linn-Benton Community college Adult Basic Education/GED program in Albany, Oregon is testing a new class structure to handle teaching students at different skill levels. They use parallel classes taught at the same time. While a teacher works with students at one level, the other class is open to independent study to help students catch up in areas where they are lacking. Students can move from one class to the other to customize their education.
The West Virginia Community and Technical College System is creating the I-PASS initiative, which stands for Integrated Pathways for Adult Student Success. It approaches the GED in a unique way, coupling GED preparation with work force certification or associate’s degree training.
In other areas, tutoring programs help to bring volunteer tutors to GED candidates to give personalized study help. Julie Kohn, of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, started a GED tutoring program in 2007, when her friend dropped out of high school. Because the program is textbook-based, personal tutoring is important for success. Volunteer tutors are in demand at many library programs and adult education initiatives.
The development of e-learning can play an important role in new GED initiatives. Effective e-learning can be easier to access than a textbook for independent study and for students paired with volunteer tutors. It also enforces computer literacy in programs designed to teach broader adult education goals in conjunction with the GED.
There are many successful routes for developing GED programs. Engaging learners as individuals and working with each at his or her personal skill level is a key to meaningful education.