Career Center unveils GED testing lab

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pike County residents looking to get their GED will no longer have to travel out of town to take a test as the Alabama Career Center has opened a new in-house GED testing lab.

“GED testing was paper-based for several years and then in 2014 it went to computer-based testing, so we had an issue because we didn’t have a lab for students to test,” said Dr. Terri Dunn, director of adult education at Enterprise State Community College, which administers the GED tests. “Our students would have to drive to Dothan, Enterprise or Montgomery to take their tests.”

That change made a big impact, Dunn said. Before the change, the Career Center had about 50 students per year getting their GEDs to about 10 students passing the course after the switch.

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“Transportation is an issue and the cost of the test also went from $50 to $120, but for anyone that comes to our program, we pay that $120.”

Dunn said officials with the Career Center have been working since the change in 2014 to get this GED testing lab up and running, but there were many hoops to jump through to make it official.

“We’re always open to whatever we can do for the betterment of the citizens of Pike County who come through the career center,” Dunn said.

The Career Center has already used the lab four times since August 17 and Dunn said the results speak to the importance of having the lab in town.

“Last year 97 students were served and only 15 got a GED,” Dunn said. “Since August testing four times, 19 students have already passed out of 24 tests administered. So the pass rate is very high.”

Kathy Sauer, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, said the availability of the GED program is a key advantage to get Pike County residents ready to work.

“I have a love for people who have left school for whatever reason they had to leave …” Sauer said. “It puts them behind before they start; we all know that if you do not have a diploma, you’re probably not going to even be able to get a start on having a job. What a great partnership to be able to go straight from a GED in one room to a job in another. They’re getting exposed to jobs while they’re working on getting their GEDs.”