Atlanta, GA—The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has announced the Career Plus High School Equivalency (HSE) pilot, an exciting new program for out-of-school youth and adults without a high school diploma to earn a state-issued high school equivalency credential in Georgia.
The Career Plus HSE pilot 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 from a participating adult education provider. The program is designed to provide students with the flexibility to fill gaps from previous high school or adult education classes with technical college courses designed specifically for the pilot.
Since 1946, passing the GED® exam was the only way to earn a high school equivalency credential in Georgia. In 2014, many other states began offering alternatives such as additional standardized tests and credit-based pathways to provide more options for their students.
“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,” said TCSG Commissioner, Greg Dozier. “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.”
Beginning in early 2020, five of Georgia’s technical colleges will participate in the inaugural Career Plus HSE pilot: Albany Technical College, Athens Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Columbus Technical College, and Savannah Technical College. In the six-county service area of Columbus Tech, (Chattahoochee, Harris, Muscogee, Quitman, Stewart, and Talbot) about 14 percent of adults aged 25 and older do not have a high school equivalency.
“We look at the Career Plus HSE program as another opportunity to serve our community,” said Columbus Technical College’s Vice President of Adult Education April Hopson. “Each student has a different barrier to overcome and the more options we are able to give the student the more options we have for success.”
Columbus will incorporate four Technical Certificate of Credit (TCC) programs into its Career Plus pilot offering: Cabinetmaking Assembly Technician, Certified Production Technician, Gas Metal Arc Welder, and Nurse Aide. Students will also have the option of a Columbus Tech diploma program. In addition to the Career Plus HSE pilot, TCSG’s Office of Adult Education will also begin offering a second standardized test—the HiSET®. The HiSET® is a nationally-recognized standardized test developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) that is aligned with the College and Career Ready Standards for Adult Education. Twenty-three states already offer the HiSET® as an option to earn a high school equivalency credential. Students can prepare for both the GED® and HiSET® by attending free exam prep classes at one of TCSG’s 31 adult education providers throughout the state.
“Georgia has long been recognized as leader in Adult Education and I’m encouraged that we are providing innovative and flexible opportunities that will increase the number of Georgians with a high school equivalency credential,” said Assistant Commissioner of Adult Education, Dr. Cayanna Good. “We understand that busy, hardworking adults require flexibility in the pursuit of their educational goals. I’m hopeful that, through the Career Plus HSE pilot and by offering an additional testing option, we will meet the needs of our students and the workforce needs of our state.”