As part of the week-long celebration, the Carroll County Adult Education Center will hold an Open House the entire week of Oct. 12-18. The Adult Center is located beside Woodlawn School. Anyone seeking information about the General Education Development (GED) Certificate may come by between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.
Open Houses will also be held in the Carroll County Adult Education Program’s site class locations at Hillsville Elementary, St. Paul School, and Lambsburg Community Center on Oct. 14 and 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Hillsville and St. Paul open houses will be held in each school’s Technology Rooms. Follow the signs at Lambsburg.
Free Official Practice GED Testing will be given to anyone who would like to know how he or she might score on the actual GED Test. The only requirement is that the person be at least 18 years of age and not enrolled in public school. Upon successfully completing the Official Practice GED Test, the Carroll Adult Education Program will pay state testing fees for the actual GED Test. If the student is not ready for all five parts of the GED Test (Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, and Reading) the student may take them one or two tests at a time, as the student is ready. Regular GED Preparatory classes and Fast Track GED classes are also available at the Adult Center to help individuals prepare for the GED Test.
The Adult Center offers individual instruction geared to each individual’s needs. All books and materials are provided free of charge.
Supervisors make proclamation
Marty Holliday spoke to the board on behalf of the New River Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board. Holliday said the board covers 13 jurisdictions in Southwest Virginia. Carroll County Public Schools has its own adult education program.
“We are trying to highlight adult education to the board of supervisors to the importance of having adult education in their area and the importance of continuing to encourage their citizens to get that adult education,” Holliday said.
Juanita Bowers with Carroll County’s Adult Education Program said the county’s program is one of the few independent programs in the area and it is also the only full-time adult education program in Southwest Virginia. The program currently serves about 450 students per year, she said.
“They’re not all GED students, but the GED is a priority. We do some developmental math for Wytheville, and we help seniors with computer skills,” Bowers said. “We have parents and grandparents coming in saying, ‘I can’t help my kids with homework. I’ve never had algebra. I don’t what to do. Can you show me?’ We are also working with students that have lost their jobs and suddenly it looks like the world is coming to an end for them.”
Carroll County’s adult education program is very successful as it has a 91 percent pass rate in the GED program. Comparatively, Virginia’s pass rate is 70.5 percent and the national pass rate is 71.5 percent.
“So we are doing something right,” Bowers said. “I am proud of our numbers.”
According to Holliday, 7,498 Carroll County citizens (about 36 percent of the population) did not have a high school diploma or credential in the year 2000. A large portion of that is people over the age of 65, she said, but an educated workforce is extremely important for any area.
“It bodes pretty well for us when companies around the country are looking for places to bring their companies and they are looking for an educated and well-trained workforce. I think this is the most important thing we can do for people,” Holliday said. “One of the problems is people without high school diplomas are the white elephant in the room. We all know they are there, we all see them, but we don’t talk about them. And we don’t encourage them to go forth and get one. It doesn’t matter if they are 44 or 24, they should be in those GED classes getting that high school diploma so they can go on and get postsecondary education or training.”
Holliday said she is a firm believer that not everybody is college bound, but she also believes everybody needs some type of postsecondary education in order to fulfill the needs of a strong workforce. She encourages everyone to spread the word of the Carroll County Adult Education Program.
“Carroll County is doing a terrific job in serving the citizens and we want more people to come. We don’t want them to be embarrassed,” Holliday said. “We don’t care why they didn’t get it. Now is the time to get it.”
Fancy Gap District Supervisor Manus McMillian noted that students in the Carroll County Adult Education Program ranged in age from 18 to 85. Holliday said most of the area’s programs have students in the over 65 age bracket that finally come back to get their GED — some to set an example for their grandchildren, others that have finally just got back around to doing it.
Sulphur Springs District Supervisor David Hutchins made the motion to proclaim Oct. 15 as GED Day in Carroll and Oct. 12-18 as GED Week. The motion passed unanimously.
“I have been involved in adult education in Carroll and Mr. Gary Lowe did it for years. It seems like he has been replaced by somebody who is going to carry it on and we are very pleased with that and pleased with the number that goes through,” Chairman Sam Dickson said.