Coming together to help working adults pass the GED® test the first time
With more than 39 million U.S. adults without a high school degree, passing the GED® Test increases access to higher education and offers individuals better opportunities in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Minorities are particularly susceptible to dropping out of high school and not receiving their diploma. In 2012, nationwide, black students graduated high school at a rate of 69 percent; Hispanics graduated at 73 percent; and whites graduated at a rate of 86 percent.1 Adults who lack a high school diploma are more prone to negative life experiences and may be challenged to find a productive career.
It is important to give individuals the tools, resources, and knowledge necessary to continue their education and find a good job that offers livable wages. Fortunately, companies are joining forces to help adults pass the GED® Test the first time. Walmart, Taco Bell, KFC, and Southeastern Grocers are offering employees access to the GEDWorks™ program. Funded by employers, the GEDWorks program offers employees a no-cost, comprehensive, start-to-finish program and the full set of tools that adults need to earn their GED credential.
GED Testing Service®, a joint venture of the American Council on Education and Pearson VUE, announced the GEDWorks program for employers. Walmart’s GEDWorks program specifically leverages online learning tools like MyFoundationsLab for GED® Prep to provide learners with the requisite knowledge and confidence needed to improve opportunities for success. The tool empowers test candidates to target efforts and build the skills necessary to successfully pass each subject of the test—reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, social studies, and science.
With regards to the online learning tool, content goes beyond “practice only” with critical reading and skills that add context as well as conceptual remediation. Its self-paced, intuitive structure includes an online learning module for support in taking the new computer-based exam. The tool provides students with a personalized learning pathway through the material so they can concentrate only on the content they need to master to successfully pass the test. Finally, it utilizes Knewton’s sophisticated adaptive learning technology to continuously monitor and adjust based on a student’s performance.
An important component of the GEDWorks program is the GED Advisor. The GED Advisor is responsible for helping the student make progress by encouraging and motivating students. They act as the support structure to nudge students along when they get stuck, to pick them up and reassure them if they fall, and to celebrate when they succeed. Working jointly with the student, the GED Advisor helps the student develop a study plan and track regular progress against it.
It is so great to see the program already working for adult learners. Walmart #779 Department Manager, Donovan Genutis, who completed the program, said that passing the GED Test was always something in the back of his mind. “… the fact that I acted on it and now have my GED certificate is a huge weight off my shoulders. And new doors are already opening.”
I am pleased that innovative programs such as the GEDWorks program are enabling individuals to gain the credential they need to pursue higher education goals and eventually find success in the workplace.
Join Walmart’s Brian Poland, director of lifelong learning and talent development, to learn more about the company’s GEDWorks program at Pearson’s “Ready for Work: Focus on Employability Summit” at the 2016 SXSWedu Conference on March 9th in Austin, Texas.
About the Author
Leah Jewell is the Managing Director for Career Development and Employability in North America. She has worked for two years building out Pearson’s global vocational and employability strategy, and is now focused on building educational and training solutions to prepare learners age 15 through adult with the skills needed to obtain and progress within a job in the U.S. The CDE team also partners with industry associations to build and deliver recognized credentials and works with employers to close the skills gap.
GED® and GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (“ACE”). They may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of ACE or GED Testing Service. The GED® and GED Testing Service® brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license from the American Council on Education.
1 Data gleaned from: http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-high-school-graduation-rates-by-race-ethnicity.html