Letter: Proud GED graduates
It is graduation season, from the kindergartener to the college graduate and everyone in between.
Within the circle of graduates is another that should receive an equal amount of praise and recognition—the GED graduate. Having worn cap and gown just as proudly, this individual may stand taller and seem prouder than graduates of comparable studies because in addition to book knowledge, each has life knowledge that helped him/her earn the “right” to become a GED graduate.
This is the story of a group of 11 GED graduates who received their educational support from Adult Literacy on the Middle Peninsula, Inc., who wore the flowing robe and mortarboard before their selected audience of family and friends, who returned to work the next day ready to shout to the world, “Look at me!” but kept their joys of success within and did a good day’s work knowing what they had become.
Adult Literacy on the Middle Peninsula, Inc., is relatively new in the world of community-based literacy organizations, in its fifth year of providing free, one-to-one tutorial assistance for any adult who asks for it.
When people enroll to complete their high school education, one of the first questions is, “How long will this take?” That is a question with no simple answer: How long are you willing to spend studying? How long is your family willing to sacrifice time and give support so that a GED student will be able to complete the work and meet his/her goal?
Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex are better places because these 11 GED graduates worked, studied and succeeded. Success came on the first try for four of the 11, who scored the required points on each test, the total points required and the average score needed to earn their certificate upon the completion of the five tests then required.
People drop out of school for various reasons; the important idea is that they eventually realize the need to earn the GED. Of the 11, the average age of the graduate is 37.8 years. In this group of 11, the ages ranged from 23 to 65.
This group academically produced its own shining stars. Consider that when the 2002 GED tests were “normed,” high school seniors were tested to set the scale. Statistics showed that 40 percent of high school graduates taking the GED tests couldn’t pass them. To pass the GED 2002 tests, students had to score a minimum of 410 points on each of the five subject area tests, earn an average of 450 points and a cumulative score of 2,250.
The group of 11 had an average score of 504 points with one student earning a perfect 800 score on the reading test. In addition, one student was recognized as scoring in the top 20 percent of all graduates in the country taking the same tests while another received recognition for scoring in the top 25 percent.
It is expected that a high school graduate will spend four years to complete his/her course of study. For these 11, the average preparation time was 30 months, four days. That is dedication from the student and the family and a great deal of sacrifice.
One student took only two months to earn the GED, another took three months but the others took years to earn the coveted certificate.
Will Adult Literacy be able to prepare a similar group? Tutors are willing and available to assist the learners but now ALMP is encountering is the student who appears to want instant gratification. New GED tests require a different skill set; there is a requirement for a deeper understanding of the material, writing skills that show the completion of the thinking skills, mathematical knowledge beyond basic math and the understanding and use of formulas. The new tests require computer skills, which Adult Literacy is willing to teach to the student who realizes that in this world of instant gratification, some things require long-term interest and work.
Do you want to follow the footsteps of the group of 11? If you are willing to work toward your goal of earning your GED Adult Literacy on the Middle Peninsula, Inc. is a year-round program with open enrollment. To begin your studies, call Adult Literacy at 804-210-9169 to make an appointment.
Adult Literacy on the Middle