Park City and South Summit School Districts are now able to proctor General Education Development testing throughout the county. The mobile testing program has doubled the number of GED Diplomas completed. The change allows for quicker and more cost-effective GED testing for everyone trying to earn their high school diploma.
Allison Taylor is the Community Education Assistant with the Park City School District. She came up with the idea to become a GED testing center. She says they started teaching at the jail about a year and a half ago. She is now proctoring GED testing at the jail and at the Park City School District Learning Center.
“So, we called down to Salt Lake Community College to ask them to come up and test and it was going to cost us $300.00 to have them come up and test. In a meeting with the state and the Community Ed Director, I just said, why don’t we become a GED testing center?”
They were able to get a grant from the State Board of Education which paid for training and computers. When a person completes a GED with a score of 168 or higher, they’re considered career and college ready. Taylor says students will be accepted at all of Utah’s Universities. Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College are options if the score is lower than 168.
They have one person teaching social studies and math. Another is teaching English. Adding Spanish language classes and translation services has resulted in much higher scores.
“And, then we have a Spanish teacher who teaches the social studies, language arts and science. And then our math teacher goes over and the Spanish teacher translates. And we’re having a lot of really high scores with our new math teacher. So, she’s great.”
Student assessments are done before beginning the course work and prior to the final test. Higher scores, translation services and more accessible testing locations has increased the number of graduates from eight to 15 since creating the mobile proctorship program.
“Well, I go to the jail on Mondays and Wednesdays. But, I only test there on Fridays. We test Tuesdays at the Learning Center and because we partnered with South Summit, I take the computers to them and they test their adult ed students on Thursdays. We’re willing to test each other’s students as well. So, we’ll have people come up from South Summit or if I have somebody who tested on Tuesday and didn’t quite make the score they wanted, they can go back and study real hard and then go back to South Summit and retest.”
Taylor says it’s a spectrum of people seeking their GED, which includes teens who are homeschooled, kids who’ve dropped out of high school and people who are in their careers and need the diploma to get a promotion. One woman challenged her grandson to get his GED promising she would return and do it with him.
“Recently, one gentleman was in the Spanish class and he had been working on it for about six months and he finally got his GED completed and he says, oh great, now I get to go work for the City. They wouldn’t hire me until I had my GED.”
More information about classes, testing and costs can be found in the Park City School District website link on KPCW.org.