There are plenty of good reasons for earning a General Education Development certificate by taking the GED test – to spruce up a job application, to earn a hoped-for promotion, or just having the satisfaction that comes from the accomplishment itself. Now, for Hoosiers who haven’t earned their high school diploma, there’s a more pressing motivation on the horizon.
“This is the end of the GED test as we know it,” says Lewis Peterson, an Education Coach at Southeast Community Services.
Provided by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, its replacement, the Testing Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), is due in 2014, and will reflect new workplace demands, including a greater focus on math, science and social studies. Passing the new test could lead to greater job opportunities, but it will also cost nearly twice as much to take (increasing from $70 to $120) and will force those who have completed some – but not all – of the old GED test to start over. Community organizations are hoping savvy test-takers will realize time is money, and earn their GEDs before the changes take effect.
Since many GED local students have passed parts of the current test, community organizations including EmployIndy are reaching out to help them avoid wasting the credits while also helping them become more employable by earning their GED certification. The campaign is made possible in part by a grant from The Indianapolis Foundation’s Family Success Initiative.
EmployIndy’s campaign focuses on getting 2,000-plus Marion County residents who have started their GED test to complete it by mid-December 2013. Besides alerting them to the upcoming changes, EmployIndy is sharing information about local preparation and testing sites. Southeast Community Services is one of them, and staff launched a phone campaign to contact lapsed GED students.
“Once they find out about the changes, a lot of our folks are rushing to get it done,” says Peterson. “They see it as a chance for a fresh start for their lives in the new year.”