By: Julia Simmerer
Editor’s Note: Samantha Fallucco helped author this blog. Samantha is a program administrator in the Department’s Center for Teaching, Leading and Learning. You can contact Samantha here.
Recently, I heard some news that reinforced how meaningful it can be for adults who didn’t receive their diplomas in high school to take advantage of Ohio’s options for earning a diploma or the equivalent. Graduates from these programs don’t just survive, they thrive. In July, two Ohio GED graduates received national recognition and $1,000 scholarships at the GED Testing Service Annual Conference. Reginald Latten was one of only four people to receive the 2019 GED Graduate of the Year Award and Kyle Reckart received the 2019 GEDWorks Graduate of the Year Award.
In today’s rapidly changing job market, finding meaningful employment can seem out of reach for many Ohioans without a high school diploma. The good news is Ohio offers several pathways for adult learners to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. These pathways include taking a high school equivalence exam, such as the GED, enrolling in the Adult Diploma program, or participating in the 22+ Adult High School Diploma program.
High School Equivalence exams provide learners 18 years old and older the opportunity to gain the academic skills and credentials needed for acceptance into postsecondary education programs or directly into the workforce. The most well-known of these exams is the GED®. Other Ohio-approved options for high school equivalence are the HiSET and TASC exams. For learners interested in earning high school equivalence by taking one of these exams, more information, including the location of testing centers and exam costs, can be found here.
The Adult Diploma Program provides job training and a new pathway for adults ages 22 or older to earn a high school diploma AND industry credentials aligned to one of Ohio’s in-demand jobs. What makes this program different is that instead of measuring academic achievement through clock hours, seat time or credits earned, the focus is on a competency-based approach that provides a self-paced option. Once competencies have been learned, adults then demonstrate mastery of skill. Each eligible adult works with his or her provider to create a customized student success plan. Click here to learn more.
The 22+ Adult High School Diploma Program helps adults earn a high school diploma. The program is free to adults over 22 years old who live in Ohio and do not have a high school diploma or equivalent. Counselors work with adult learners to develop individual plans to identify the courses and assessments needed to graduate and earn a diploma. Providers try their best to schedule instructional dates and times to meet the needs of adult learners. To learn more about this program, click here.
By taking advantage of one of these programs, adult learners can find meaningful employment to support themselves and their families. With a little hard work and a shot of inspiration from adult learners like Reginald and Kyle, your dreams are within reach!
Julia Simmerer is senior executive director of the Center for the Teaching, Leading and Learning at the Ohio Department of Education. You can learn more about Julia by clicking here.
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