Georgia tech college system offers path to high school credential

Instructor Margaret Robling (standing) helps Isatu Jalloh (right) during a GED preparation class at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Georgia Piedmton is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, which has started a new program to help more adults without a high school diploma get their credentials. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.
Instructor Margaret Robling (standing) helps Isatu Jalloh (right) during a GED preparation class at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Georgia Piedmton is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, which has started a new program to help more adults without a high school diploma get their credentials. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.

The Technical College System of Georgia announced Tuesday it has created a pilot program that aims to help more adults without a high school diploma earn a state-issued high school equivalency credential.

The Career Plus High School Equivalency program will allow students to combine previously earned credits from high school, completed portions of the GED exam and technical college credit to earn a high school equivalency credential.

TCSG officials said Tuesday the program is another pathway for adults to get a high school credential. More states in recent years have offered different options for adults without high school diplomas to achieve similar credentials.

Georgia’s high school dropout rate is 6.9% among 16 to 24-year-olds, according to National Center for Education Statistics data. The national high school dropout rate is slightly below 6%.

For decades, the GED has been the main alternative for adults who dropped out of high school, but the number passing the exam and earning a diploma has decreased more than 40% in recent years, according to some news accounts.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from October shows adults without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $606, compared with $749 for high school graduates.

“Adult education is an important part of TCSG’s mission and it’s become increasingly important to provide these students with the skills needed for success in today’s marketplace,” TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier said in a statement. “By providing Adult Education students with a variety of options to earn a high school equivalency credential, we are helping them realize their full potential while developing a skilled workforce for Georgia.”

The TCSG’s Office of Adult Education will also offer a second standardized test — the HiSET, as an option to earn a high school equivalency credential.

Five TCSG schools will participate in the program: Albany Technical College, Athens Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Columbus Technical College and Savannah Technical College.

Then-President Barack Obama toured the Youth Build Program at Savannah Technical College during a 2010 visit. The college is one of five Technical College System of Georgia schools participating in a new program to help adults get a high school certification. AP FILE PHOTO.
Then-President Barack Obama toured the Youth Build Program at Savannah Technical College during a 2010 visit. The college is one of five Technical College System of Georgia schools participating in a new program to help adults get a high school certification. AP FILE PHOTO.

Credit: Charles Dharapak, AP

Credit: Charles Dharapak, AP