United Ministries will celebrate the success of their GED graduates with a ceremony at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Over 100 adults are eligible to walk at the graduation, which is presented by The Smart Family Fund. Eligible graduates earned their GEDs, or high school equivalency diplomas, through United Ministries Adult Education program between March 3, 2016 and February 28, 2017.
United Ministries reports a 133% increase in their graduation rate from 2015 to 2016. The number of GED graduates increased nationwide by about 40%, according to the GED Testing Service. GED Testing Service and the SC Department of Education adopted a lower passing score for the GED exam in 2016 based on an analysis of educational outcomes of GED graduates as compared with high school graduates. The analysis showed that community college students who had earned GED credentials were less likely to place into remedial coursework than community college students who recently graduated from high school. The new passing score is opening doors for students who are motivated to be college and career-ready.
“I think I can speak for the entire United Ministries Adult Education staff in saying that it’s an incredible privilege to work with these highly-motivated adults and help them realize their potentials,” says Dr. Lisa Hall, Adult Education Program Manager. “No matter what’s in their past or why they left school, we want them be their best. Nine times out of ten, they are the ones who are most surprised by what they are able to achieve.”
United Ministries also offers GED candidates the opportunity to earn their WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificates, which 208 students earned in 2016, better enabling them to find jobs and work towards financial stability. 87% of GED graduates who United Ministries contacted after graduation reported that they were employed.
“Since graduating with my GED, I’ve earned a promotion to Junior HR Manager at Publix, and I’ve been to enroll in college to become a veterinarian. More importantly, I am setting a positive example for my nieces and nephews,” says graduate Danielle Owens.
United Ministries’ youngest GED graduate this year is 17 years old and the oldest is 78-year-old Mel Friesen. Friesen, a pianist, will provide musical entertainment for the ceremony on Thursday.