By Michael Ormsby
Over 39 million adult Americans are at a disadvantage in the job market and unable to qualify for higher education because they lack a high school diploma or GED® credential. Especially in an uncertain job market with increased competition, those without a high school diploma or GED test credential are at a disadvantage. More and more undereducated adults are seeking help from GED test prep programs across the country in order to get a GED test credential.
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A cooperative GED program between Edgecombe Community College and the Opportunities Industrialization Center in North Carolina graduated a record number of GED students in 2010. The total number of GED earners is 67, almost double the 34 graduates from the previous year.
The free Martha O’Bryan Center GED program in Nashville, Tennessee had three times as many graduates who earned GED credentials this year than last. At graduation time, with 90 graduates, the program found they had too few caps and gowns for the ceremony. Herff Jones company donated 27 caps and gowns so that the graduates could attend the ceremony in full regalia. This problem is welcome to GED test prep programs, who want to help more adults to get a GED test credential. Still, it is emblematic of the issues that GED programs face when demand for GED test credentials is high.
In addition to adult schools, GED community colleges, and other schools, libraries often offer help for GED candidates. The Tompkins County, New York library is able to reach a broad range of adults who need help to get a GED diploma. They offer GED courses online for free. With a public library card, Tompkins County residents can access free online GED classes. This model of online distance education reaches more adults for less cost, helping fill the demand for GED Test prep.
High demand for GED preparation means a strain for GED programs to fill the needs of the community. Even with record numbers of graduates, adult education programs, adult learning centers, and community education programs only reach a small number of the 39 million adult Americans who have no high school diploma. A shift to online preparation through distance learning, in conjunction with classroom efforts, is needed to truly fill the demand for further education.
Michael Ormsby is the president of the GED Academy and oversees software and curriculum for adult learners and people with educational challenges. For more information, visit passGED.com. Michael can be contacted by telephone at 800-460-8150.