Equivalency Diploma Replaces GED

posted Jan 15, 2014, 6:22 AM by webmaster district   [ updated Jan 15, 2014, 6:22 AM ]

KENDALLVILLE — Out with the old and in with the new.

The General Education Development exam (GED), introduced in 1942, has been replaced by the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma.

The changeover began at the start of this month, and GED instruction providers and testing centers including IMPACT Institute, formerly Four County Vocational Cooperative, have been preparing for the new assessment.

Stephanie Ross, Impact Institute’s adult education coordinator, said the institute has been proactive since institute officials learned the GED would end. Instructors have attended professional development sessions about preparing students for the new test.

IMPACT Institute, a vocational cooperative based in Kendallville, offers adult education programs in northeast Indiana as well as vocational programs to students from 11 school districts in Noble, DeKalb, LaGrange and Steuben counties.

Students enrolled in GED programs who failed to complete the test by the end of 2013 must start over with the new equivalency diploma. IMPACT marketed its GED program and offered free GED classes encouraging those thinking about the GED to enroll and get tested by Dec. 31.

Enrollment is now open at IMPACT Institute for its free equivalency diploma classes. The classes have not changed, just the preparation, said Ross.

IMPACT operates testing centers in the four-county area, and the first test is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 21 and 22 at Topeka. People may call IMPACT adult education at 343-2163 to learn about enrollment information.

Approximately 15,000 Hoosiers took the GED annually. An estimated 500,000 Hoosier adults lack high school diplomas.

A panel of representatives from the Indiana Department of Correction, the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development were involved in evaluating proposals from vendors and selecting the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill, the same company that administers ISTEP testing for Indiana students.

Ivy Tech and the Indiana Association of Adult and Continuing Education provided analysis of available testing options, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website.

In November, Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Scott B. Sanders announced Indiana would begin using the equivalency diploma. He said the new assessment will ensure Indiana offers a high school equivalency test that matches employer demand and is accessible.

The Department of Workforce Development calls the new assessment the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma, while CTB/McGraw-Hill refers to it as the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.

Two proposals to replace the GED were not selected. The American Council on Education, owner of the GED, with its partner Pearson Vue Testing had submitted a proposal for an updated version of its GED costing $120. Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit organization that also administers the Graduate Record Examination, developed a high school equivalency exam called the High School Equivalency Test or HiSET.

The cost for the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma comprehensive assessment is $85 and $18 per subject for a retest. The seven-hour test will cover reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. IMPACT Institute offers free preparatory classes.

The test is offered both in computer-based format and pencil and paper. It’s available in English and Spanish, Braille and audio versions for the visually impaired. IMPACT Institute will be able to offer the test on computers in the next program year, Ross said.

The new test is being described as more rigorous and better aligned with the skills needed for college and today’s workplaces.

Indiana and at least eight other states — New York, New Hampshire, Missouri, Iowa, Montana, Louisiana, Maine and West Virginia — severed ties with the GED test. Three states — Wyoming, New Jersey and Nevada — will offer three tests.

Ross said she is confident that IMPACT Institute’s adult educators are prepared for the new test.

Article from The Star on January 11, 2014 - Written by Dennis Nartker