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Community-Wide Need for GED Testing

Fall 2012 | Archives

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 year.

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."

Students

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 as possible.

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 High School.

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 funding.

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 quickly.

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.

 
 
 
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