For Immediate Release
September 27, 2013
More than 600 adults who began the GED Testing process at Lower Columbia College in past years, but did not complete all five parts, will need to finish by early December or start over.
In January, the national GED Testing Service will replace the current test with a four-part series that is considered a better indicator of student readiness for college and careers. Like the current version, the parts can be taken separately, but all must be passed to receive a high school equivalency certificate.
Evening Testing Added
To help adults complete the original test before the deadline, LCC offers several testing options:
GED Night Testing: every Wednesday evening, from 5 - 9 pm, through December 11, 2013.
GED Testing: twice a month on Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm, through December 13, 2013 (dates below).
- October 18, 25
- November 15, 22
- December 6, 13
"This will be the first time evening testing hours have been offered and they are open to any adult who needs to complete the test regardless of where they live or may have taken other parts of the test. Because test taker information is now on a national data base, their records can be accessed at the LCC Testing Center and they can complete the test here", explained Angel Ruvalcaba, Testing Center Coordinator.
“We welcome adults from throughout Southwest Washington to take advantage of our evening testing hours.”
Students have several ways to prepare for the test. They can enroll in Adult Basic Education classes at LCC, either a traditional 10-week quarter or the GED Fast Track option. Or they can study on their own. GED textbooks are available through the LCC Bookstore and at the local library or study materials are available online at GED Testing Service.
LCC also offers several GED sign-up/information sessions where college staff will answer questions and assist participants through the GED sign-up process. Sessions are held each Monday from 5-6 pm in the Admissions Center. No pre-registration is needed. To get started contact the LCC Testing Center at 360.442.2353 or .
Computer-Based Testing Makes It Better
Both the current test, and the new test series which begins in January, are now computer based. The good news is that testers using the computer version are showing better results than those who completed the paper version. For example, math is by far the most difficult subject and almost 30% of first-time test-takers failed the subject test on paper. In comparison, 83% passed the computer version of the math test on their first try.
Additional benefits of computer testing include immediate results, and the ability to sign up, register, and pay for the test online.
Education Means Jobs and Higher Wages
About 13.5% of Cowlitz County adults over age 25 have less than a high school credential. On the plus side, this is an improvement of more than 3% in the past decade. There is a direct correlation between educational attainment and poverty levels, unemployment and wages. To benefit both community residents and local workforce needs, LCC has implemented several support systems to help more adults complete high school studies and beyond. For adults over age 21, the GED Test is the primary vehicle for high school completion.
One out of every seven Americans, including 18,000 Washington residents each year, completes high school by earning a GED. Most, 71%, continue their education with some level of college studies.
GED Graduates Find Success in College
Some recent examples show it is never too late to earn a GED and that achievement often propels students to success in college studies.
Cami Woods left high school in her junior year, married and had three sons before coming to LCC to earn her GED. Then she enrolled in college , graduated with her Associate in Arts transfer degree, and received the most prestigious scholarship awarded nationally to community college transfer students. The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship funded $30,000 a year for Cami to pursue her goal of becoming a lawyer. She is currently attending law school at Brigham Young University.
Dan Davidson left high school to work in his family’s logging contracting business. Almost 20 years later, he came to LCC to earn his GED and continued on to complete technical training related to his previous work. Even with two decades of experience repairing heavy equipment, Dan discovered he could have saved thousands of dollars over the years in the business if he had completed technical training first.
Less than a year ago, Molly Collins found herself homeless with no prospects for a better life.
“I made some bad choices,” she admits, including dropping out of school after eighth grade. Her only work experience was six weeks with a temporary staffing agency.
Then a friend challenged her to take charge and do something with her life. Although she was terrified, Molly decided to earn her GED. She enrolled in the GED Fast Track program at Lower Columbia College.
“It was hard, but I didn't want to end up in a dead end job and I was tired of being at the bottom,” she said.
By late November Molly reached the first of many milestones, attending her GED Graduation where she was also a student speaker. Now she’s in her finishing her first year as a college student at LCC, working toward an associate’s degree with a focus on psychology and she made the Dean’s list. Other firsts – bought her first car; rented her first apartment and just got hired for her first job. Her goal is a college degree and a career as a mental health counselor helping others in our community, with stories similar to her own, to turn their lives around.
Education Improves Employability and Earnings
During 2012, the U.S. unemployment rate for adults without a high school education was 12.4%. For those who had completed high school, that number dropped by one-third to 8.3% and for those with an associate degree it was even lower, 6.2%. The unemployment rate for college graduates with a four year degree was just 4.5%.
A college education continues to be an important tool for working adults. In 1973 only 28% of jobs required at least an associate degree. By 2015, 66% of jobs will require that level of education. This is important for adults who need to earn a family-wage job; it’s also important for the local economy. To support current businesses and industries, and to attract new business, we need to have a skilled work force.
In addition to qualifying for more available jobs, students who add a year or more of college to their high school education will earn an additional $3,889 annually for each year of school they complete. For our state, and community, this means additional tax revenue.
For more information please contact:
Sue Groth, Director of College Relations & Marketing, Lower Columbia College, 360.442.2110,
Angel Ruvalcaba, Testing Center Coordinator, 360.442.2352,
Additional Information Available at GED Testing