When a person hears "Back to School," it may remind them of an exciting time to learn and be with friends, but for some adults, the phrase may have an entirely different meaning.
If an adult never finished high school, "Back to School" may represent failure. People without high school diplomas often find it a barrier in meeting important goals they've set for themselves like having a high paying job, completing post secondary education or being a good example for their children. Going back to school, for these adults, is often a step that takes courage and persistence.
Tuscarora Intermediate Unit (TIU) staff, located at the CareerLink in Lewistown and the Juniata County Learning Center in Mifflintown, are trained and prepared to help local residents meet goals in education and employment. Our centers have programs to prepare adults for General Educational Development (GED) Testing.
JV Family by BUFFIE BOYER
Shawn McConnell, left, and Jeffrey Barrow II help each other with a math problem during class while both are working toward getting their GEDs at the Lewistown CareerLink.
In Pennsylvania, those who successfully complete the GED Test receive a Commonwealth Post Secondary Diploma from the Department of Education. This credential reflects educational goal attainment, similar to a high school graduate, and often opens doors to employment opportunities and post secondary schooling.
Now is a particularly important time for adults without high school diplomas in our community. The current GED test expires on Dec. 31. Anyone who has taken part of the test, but has not completed testing, will lose their current status and need to retake the entire test and pay again in January 2014. At that time, there will be an entirely new test that can only be done on the computer. Adult learners who need more time to prepare should take the new GED test beginning in January.
The TIU staff encourages those who have begun testing or are prepared to test to register before December. TIU staff are ready to help. They are experts at working with adults and understanding the challenges of going back to school while raising children and, often, working more than one job.
Successfully completing GED testing is manageable and help is available. The GED test is available in paper or computerized formats, but is administered only at approved testing centers. The CareerLink in Lewistown is an approved GED Testing site. No other high school equivalency program is nationally recognized, offering a credential accepted by most schools and employers.
Completing the GED test by the end of the year can mean going on to college, getting a better job and receiving the respect that goes along with earning a high school credential.
GED testing and preparation is for adults 18 years and older. Some exceptions for 17-year-olds who are officially withdrawn from school are made if they meet eligibility requirements. For more information, call 248-4942 or visit the CareerLink in Lewistown.