National GED® test changes have positive impact on SRTC students

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National scoring system enhancements mean almost 1,900 former Georgia GED® test-takers now eligible to pass; at least 25 in surrounding area.

Atlanta – Almost 1,900 Georgia students may achieve a passing grade on their GED® Test thanks to new scoring enhancements by the national GED® Testing Service. The passing score for high school equivalency has been recalibrated from 150 to 145, which means that 1,880 Georgia students who, since Jan. 1, 2014, have received scores from 145 to 149, may now be eligible for Georgia’s high school equivalency credential. In addition, the enhancements provide a path for some test-takers to receive college credits.

“These changes mean that more highly-qualified individuals in Georgia have the opportunity to access higher education or enter the workforce,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia. “Not only is this great news for our adult education students, but it’s great news for Georgia, bringing us closer to our Complete College Georgia goal set by Gov. Deal and expanding the workforce pipeline for our companies.”

The enhanced program will also include two optional levels above high school equivalency to signify college readiness, and for some test-takers the opportunity to earn college credits. Under the new GED® “College Ready” performance level, 3,639 Georgia students have a score of 165 to 174 in at least one or more of the four subject tests and may now be considered ready to enter credit-bearing college courses. The other performance level, GED® “College Ready + Credit,” may qualify 685 Georgia students with at least one or more scores of 175 - 200 for college credit, while 22 students scored 175 - 200 on all subjects and may qualify for up to ten hours of college credit. 

“The scoring enhancements are based on an extensive analysis of test-takers’ performance data from the past 18 months, conversations with state policymakers and elected officials, and external validation with experts,” said GED® Testing Service President Randy Trask. “This is part of our ongoing commitment to make data-based decisions, and continually improve the efficacy of the GED® program.”

The scoring enhancement is driven in part by the GED® Testing Service’s detailed analysis of educational outcomes of GED® program graduates compared to high school graduates over the past 18 months. The test remains the same and continues to be fully aligned to state college and career readiness standards, measuring the key problem solving and critical thinking skills vital to success in jobs and career or college training programs.  As always, the passing score of the GED® test will continue to be used to measure high school equivalency and to award a state’s GED® credential. In Fiscal Year 2015, 14,468 individuals in Georgia took at least one section of the GED test. Of the 7,348 people who took all four sections of the test, 4,781 graduated: a 65 percent pass rate.

“The two most important things about a high school equivalency exam are providing the best prep possible to our students through well-trained instructors and accessible free class locations, and ensuring that the exam is a validated credible measure of high school equivalency. That way Georgia’s employers and colleges know they’re getting employees and students with the true competence of a high school graduate,” said Beverly Smith, TCSG Assistant Commissioner for Adult Education. “We know that for individuals without a high school diploma or a GED®, the unemployment rate is 5.4 percent higher and average annual income is $10,000 less than for those with these credentials, so these enhancements are game-changers for GED® graduates.”

According to SRTC Executive Director of Adult Education Dale Aldridge the new changes are expected to impact at least 25 previous test-takers in the school’s seven county service delivery area.  Aldridge and SRTC-Moultrie Director of Adult Education Melissa Burtle released a joint statement regarding the changes to state testing.

“We believe that the new scoring criteria presents a more realistic passing score. We have at least 25 students that were not eligible for their credentials under the previous grading criteria that are now able to become more productive members of our community by either enrolling in college, obtaining employment for which they may have not been previously eligible, or by advancing in their current roles. We are excited for everyone this change has affected and look forward to continuing to help them pursue their goals of enrolling in college or entering the workforce,” commented Aldridge and Burtle.

Georgia GED® students and educators can expect to see the changes implemented starting on March 1, when scores, score reports, and other information will be available on GED.com.  Georgia GED® graduates effected by this change should receive their diplomas and transcripts by mid-March.  TCSG’s Office of Adult Education will reach out to students not currently enrolled in classes to notify them of the changes.

About the TCSG GED® Testing Program

In the past ten years, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) GED® Testing Program has awarded 166,378 diplomas. Georgia was the first state to offer the GED® test on computer in December, 2011 and the first to complete the transition of the GED® mobile computer-based testing in corrections facilities in 2014. TCSG has 66 GED® Testing Centers and 33 mobile testing sites, providing testing for two Youth Challenge academies, three Job Corps centers, over 50 correctional institutions and seven youth detention centers. 

For more information on Adult Education and the GED® Testing Program at SRTC please call (888) 205 – 3449 or visit www.southernregional.edu.

SRTC offers over 155 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to www.southernregional.edu.

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