February 5, 2014

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton helps community members prepare for new GED test

The General Educational Development (GED) test was recently updated nationwide to better reflect the skills a senior in high school is expected to have mastered upon graduation, as well as to make the test accessible only by computer.

In response, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton has provided a grant to the Canton City Schools Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program to help test takers better prepare for the new GED exam. The foundation’s grant also makes it possible for those who want a GED to take a practice test, increasing the likelihood of their success.

The ABLE program provides free GED classes, as well as access to a new computer lab opened last fall to help GED candidates improve their computer skills.

The Canton Repository recently ran an editorial about the importance of government and nonprofits working together to create a climate for GED success in Stark County. Read more in this editorial seen in the Canton Repository:

Cooperation is creating climate for success in Stark County

The issue: New GED requirements

We have nothing but admiration for young people and older Stark Countians who earn their GED.

We respect the commitment and perseverance it takes to earn a General Educational Development diploma.

This is why we are concerned about recent changes in the program — but also gratified to see that officials in Ohio and Stark County are doing what they can to keep these changes from becoming burdens on test takers.

When it is impossible to stay in high school, or when the value of doing so simply isn’t apparent, the next-best thing is to earn a GED at some later point.

This can give the holders of these diplomas the confidence to aim high as they think about college or work.

It also shows college admissions officers and prospective employers that those who earn GED diplomas not only have mastered the necessary knowledge but also are the kind of people who will climb any mountain to succeed.

WHAT HAS CHANGED?
A headline on a Rep story Friday explained how the GED has changed recently: “Test now is computer-only, tougher — and more expensive.”

One change — cost — obviously is not desirable. When people drop out of high school to earn a living for their families, the last thing they need is another economic obstacle to improving their lives and prospects.

Fortunately, the higher cost of the GED — now $120, triple the former price — can be offset by state subsidies of as much as $80.

The other changes also can be barriers, but they reflect the brave new world in high school and beyond.

Computer literacy is a must these days, and so is a tougher curriculum.

WHO’S HELPING AND HOW?
Some GED test takers, especially if they are older, may be starting from scratch when it comes to computer literacy.

Intimidating as this might be at first, they can get up to speed through the newly expanded access to computers and training at the Stark County Community Action Agency and the Canton City Schools’ Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program.

A grant to ABLE from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton also makes it possible for those who want a GED to take a practice test, increasing the likelihood of their success.

Not every county in Ohio is making this strong an effort, whether it’s because of a lack of will, lack of foresight, lack of cooperation or lack of resources.

It is gratifying to see government and nonprofits working together to create a climate for success in Stark County.

Best of luck to all on the next round of GED testing.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

About Us

From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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