City Colleges of Chicago announced today that more than 900 students are anticipated to receive GED diplomas (high school equivalency certificates) in the 2013 school year, an expected 20 percent increase from 2012. Final numbers won’t be available until the end of August.
The increase is driven by efforts to make GED classes more accessible by expanding locations and providing additional supports to help students overcome obstacles to academic success. As a result, FY2013 GED enrollment to date increased by 10 percent over the GED enrollment in FY2012.
“Through Reinvention, we’ve given increased attention and resources to the Adult Education program at City Colleges of Chicago to expand the opportunities for more Chicagoans to pursue college and careers,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “We want to ensure our students are receiving the best education possible in their community and that they have a goal to work toward after completion of the program.”
City Colleges of Chicago has expanded its Gateway program, which provides Adult Education students an opportunity to take college credit courses at a reduced cost while receiving additional advising support. Many of this year’s graduates participated in the Gateway program, including GED graduate Edgar Arroyo.
“I enrolled in the GED program with the goal of getting a promotion at work, but I was laid off before I could finish,” said Arroyo, a 26-year-old Wright College student. “The Gateway program made it possible for me to advance my education. And now I have new, bigger goals in mind: earning my associate degree, transferring to a four-year institution to pursue my bachelor’s degree and earning my photography certification to work as a professional photographer. My success with this program inspired my younger brother to return to school as well. We received our GED certificates together and will be enrolled in credit courses in the fall.”
Matthew Bruce, another Gateway scholar, is retraining at age 52 to ensure he can compete in the increasingly competitive job market.
“I spent 20 years working in sales and traveling from city to city, but when I returned to Chicago, I found out my experience wasn’t enough. I needed my GED and computer skills to compete,” said Bruce, an Olive-Harvey College student. “Thanks to the help and support of adult education instructors, I successfully earned my GED in March and received an A in my first college course at Olive-Harvey College. I’m going to keep working to earn both my associate and bachelor’s degree.”
According to the 2010 census, almost 330,000 Chicagoans, or nearly one-sixth of city residents of employable age (18 and over), lack a high-school diploma. Yet, only about 45,000 people are enrolled in a GED or an ESL program in the city.
After a rigorous review of current locations and need across the city, City Colleges opened more than 30 new locations in neighborhoods from Brighton Park to Englewood to Avondale, supporting adults looking to earn a GED, improve their English language skills or become college ready. City Colleges’ new off-sites target particularly high-need “adult education deserts,” which have lacked adequate GED/ESL instruction availability. In these areas, at least 30 percent of the adult population is lacking a high-school diploma or English fluency. A map of all adult education sites can be found here.
All City Colleges of Chicago adult education classes are free. For more information on GED classes, call 773-COLLEGE or visit this website's Adult Education Department for information on how to contact the Adult Education Office at any of the seven City Colleges of Chicago.