Fall 2012 |
MCC's Adult Education Continues to Serve Our Community, Prepares for a
Possible Surge in GED Testing
Metropolitan Community College's (MCC) Adult Education (AE), General Education
Development (GED) and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) programs have a rich history
as an integral part of the college. In fact, these services actually predate the
College's creation as part of the former Omaha Nebraska Technical Community College,
which eventually came to be the MCC we know today. AE classes and services are offered
throughout the four-county service area, including MCC's campuses and centers, as well
as at community agencies, schools and churches who partner with MCC to provide
resources to the community.
Currently, 24 GED classes are offered at 13 on- and off-campus locations each
quarter. The College also offers a total of 37 noncredit ESL classes at 11 locations.
Overall, AE programs provide services to more than 5,000 students each academic
With the recent announcement that Omaha Public Schools (OPS) will begin to phase
out their GED program offerings, MCC is preparing for a possible surge in demand for
testing and classes. Currently, OPS serves approximately 2,000–2,500 students through
their programming, a number not easily taken on by one entity. "We will try to do
everything we can here at MCC," Sue Raftery, Dean of Literacy and Workplace Skills
said, "but this is a community-wide need that must be addressed by all."
The programs at MCC and OPS are very similar; both are governed by the same
regulations put forth by the Nebraska Department of Education and the General
Education Development Testing Service, a nonprofit program of the American Council on
Education. Both programs provide testing to all races, ages, genders and learning
levels. Students currently enrolled in classes or testing with the program at OPS
would find MCC's program very comparable, hopefully making their transition as smooth
Other local locations that provide GED testing include the Adult Learning Center in
Bellevue, the Omaha location of Nebraska Wesleyan University and Papillion-La Vista
In order to meet the needs of those who would have been served by OPS, the Nebraska
Department of Education plans to open a Request for Proposals (RFP) after the first of
the year. The RFP covers only the funds previously allocated to OPS, though with
budget cutbacks, the funds may be less. Vicki Bauer, Director of Adult Education at
the Nebraska Department of Education, stressed the importance of making sure the area
of need is properly covered. This may mean that the funding goes to one, two or more
grantees. When the RFP goes up, MCC will review it and consider bidding for additional
For now, Raftery and the support staff within AE at MCC prepare to serve students
as they normally would. "We will provide as much support as possible," said Raftery.
She also added, "I think a community college is a great place to get a GED. It makes
transitioning to the next step that much smoother when students are familiar with
staff and the campus." Transition coordinators at MCC work with GED recipients to
begin taking college courses or vocational training. Students may also start taking
classes while their GED is in progress helping them complete their schooling more
Beginning Winter quarter, AE at MCC will be offering a new program called GED
Express. After determining a higher reading level, students will have the option to
enroll in the three-week review classes and then take the GED exams.
Currently, the AE administrative office is housed in Bldg. 9 on the Fort Omaha
Campus. GED testing is available days, evenings and weekends. Call the Adult Education
office at (402) 457-2312 to make an appointment or for more information.