EAC honors GED grads
By Jeanné Clark
THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Adult Education program recently held a graduation ceremony to honor ten of its Adult Basic Education students who have successfully completed the General Education Development (GED) test. The December 12 ceremony was held at the Discovery Park Campus Barn and was attended by family and friends of the graduates.
Robin Link, assistant director of EAC’s Adult Education programs, emceed the event and two students, Diana Granados and Valerie Hopkins, gave remarks thanking the faculty and staff who helped them achieve this academic milestone and encouraging their fellow graduates to go even further by pursuing advanced degrees.
The keynote speaker for the event was Harry Swanson, EAC’s Dean of Adult Education. In his remarks, he congratulated the students on their accomplishment and reminded the graduates that with diligence their next accomplishment could be a college diploma.
The event concluded with a reception where friends and family gathered for cake, punch, and well wishes for their new graduate.
The College’s new Adult Education Program began in April of 2008 with just nine students, but has now grown to serve 69 students in Graham County and 14 students in Greenlee County. Of these, nine Graham County students completed their entire GED, and several more successfully passed components of the test and will re-test for the remaining parts in January. One Greenlee County student successfully completed the GED as well.
“When things went well with the first nine, we expanded to our full capacity of 16 students in the areas of writing, social studies, math and science, and six students in English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA)—the old ESL and ESOL,” says Link. “In Morenci, the total student capacity for all three areas is 20. In both counties, we generally run two terms of nine weeks during the regular semester; and our next nine-week term begins on January 7.”
Many students are able to attend EAC’s Adult Education program at no charge, thanks to scholarship monies set aside by the Graham County Community College District Governing Board.
“For students who can prove in-county residence for one year, we offer an ‘Opportunity Scholarship’ that covers up to six credits for each semester. Students showing appropriate progress are offered a ‘Merit Scholarship’ for the same number of credits, and ‘follow-on’ scholarships are also available for students who need a little more time in the program,” says Swanson.
Swanson is pleased with the program’s success: the withdrawal rate for these classes has been just over 17 percent—very low compared to the national average of over 50 percent. In addition, the students rave about the quality of the program. “I have wanted to get my GED for years,” says student Teresa Stone. “I’m so glad Robin Link, Sharon Greene (math and English instructor) and Shanna Masten (math instructor) are so patient and willing to help all of us.”
For more information about the Adult Education programs, contact Link or Swanson at (928) 428-6260.