Thursday, January 17, 2013

Completion of your GED opens doors

While the overall unemployment rate is slowly going down, for one section of the workforce, the unemployment rate remains unchanged.  For people who are do not have their High School Diploma or its equivalency the unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average.  Today's employers are looking for more educated and trained employees.  In order to get out of this rut, it is important that we gain the training we need to get the jobs that will provide a better way of life.  A high school diploma, or equivalent such as the GED should not be the end of one's education, in fact it should be the key that opens the door to more opportunities.
By earning a GED or High School diploma a person can begin a training program for machining, or nursing.  Once a student has completed a certification process, they can seek a job that is in demand and will pay good wages.  Why stay in the same cycle of being underemployed, in other words working a job that doesn't pay enough to provide for a way of life?  With a high school diploma or GED a person can start on the path towards a better life.
Don't wait, now is the time to answer the call of opportunity. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spring 2013 Testing Schedules

Above is the GED Testing Schedule for Spring 2013 Semester
To make an appointment please contact the GED Examiners.
Above is the TABE/PRE-GED/GED Practice Schedule for the Spring 2013 Semester.
All appointments for these tests need to be set-up on line.  For the website and password ask your instructor or the GED Examiners.

Moving forward like a champion.

2012 is finally behind us, and what a year it was.  We survived the Mayan end of the world as well as the other predicted calamities.  We're living like champions.  So after surviving the end of the world so many times, taking a test should be easy.  You should make 2013 a year of change.  Catch those winds in your sails, through off the line and set your sights on something bigger, something better.  If it's a lack of a high school diploma that is holding you back from moving forward, than come to us.  Together we can help you change your life.  The GED Credential will open doors to a better life, whether it's getting a job, going back to school, getting a certificate in HVAC, automotive, beauty, whatever it might be, you cannot start unless you have the GED.  So don't hesitate come on down to RCC.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fall Graduation

Last night was fantastic.  21 graduates walked across the stage celebrating their accomplishments.  They were GED diploma graduates.  We had a total of 75 GED graduates this semester.  The 21 graduates celebrated with family, friends, mentors, instructors, and staff.  The speakers gave 3 of the best commencement speeches I've ever heard.  They were very inspirational, and they didn't leave many dry eyes.
Remember starting in January 2013, this will be the last year you can take the tests on paper.  In 2014, a new GED test will be released.  This new test will be aligned with the common core standards, and will be delivered only on computers. 
All tests belonging to an incomplete GED diploma will be lost on Dec. 31, 2013.  So if you, or someone you know has taken a GED test since 2002, have them get in here and finish testing so they don't lose all of their hard work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Technology and Tests

Computers have become an intergal part of our lives.  From cars, ATM's to this blog, computers are important.  They bring us closer together with family and friends that are all over the nation, or world.  They bring us news, sometimes as it is happening.  Technology makes it easier and more effecient to do many chorus and jobs.  It is important that as individuals we stay up-to-date with the technology in our lives.  Here at RCC, we have changed so much of what we do to incorporate technology and computers in our classroom instruction and testing.
Three years ago we moved from our old headquarters above the library to our posh digs in the AE builidng.  Our classrooms have the best that educational technology can offer.  They have sympodiums, connecting computers to projectors as well as digital overhead projectors.  We have a top of the line computer lab so students can broaden their computer experience.
Two years ago we changed how we did the Pre-GED testing.  We went from what was strictly a paper and pencil test to a computer-based test.  With this new process, students could find out what specific educational areas required more attention, and in what areas they were strong.  Then last year we moved our placement and progress assessments from paper-based to tests to computer as well.  This new mode made it possible for teachers to more quickly elavuate the needs and strengths of the student.
Computer testing eliminates many effects of human error.  Human error can occur when the test taker is marking the answer from test booklet on the answer sheet.  They may mark the wrong bubble or mark the answer to the wrong item number.  There are many ways in which a test taker may lower their score from careless markings on the paper.  Another issue is when the test administrator makes a mistake in marking questions correct or incorrect, as well as counting the raw score and converting that to a scale score which is used for placement. 
Students can easily click on the answer they select by clicking selection on the screen.  There are no forms or booklets to lose one's place.  The computer even notifies the student if they didn't answer all the questions and tell the student which questions they still need to answer in order to finish the test.  The program instantly scores the tests, and provides a profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses.
If you have any questions about testing feel free to call or contact the Coordinator of Assessments and he will explain the testing process to you.                                                                                                                             

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dealing with Test Anxiety

I don't know many people who like to take tests.  Testing comes with so much pressure and stress.  Stress to prove ourselves, to do well, to not let our teachers, supporters and others down.  Many times we hang so much on a test.  This pressure and stress can show its self in so many different ways.  During my time as a test administrator I have seen students nearly pass out from hyperventilating, I've seen the occasional test taker cry in the middle of a test.  During testing its not uncommon to hear someone swear or pray, the pulling of hair, the nervous tapping of a pencil, the violent erasing of an unwanted answer.  The following is a list of things you can do to help alleviate this test anxiety.
  • Arrive at your testing location early.  This will allow you to focus on the test and clear your mind.  If you are rushing to get to the test on time, your already anxious, and your blood pressure is up; these things will not help you during the test.  By arriving early, you can pick the seat you feel most comfortable with (if that is an option), dumping out the nonessential things in your mind at that moment.
  • Eat a nutritious meal or snack before testing.  By picking up some good food with some calories it will give you the strength and attention to do the test.  When you are hungry or feel that empty pit in your stomach you will not do as good during the test.
  • Get some sleep.  Don't burn the midnight oil cramming for the exam. Get to bed early so that way you get the sleep your brain needs.  With a fresh and rested brain, you will do better than if your brain was crammed full of information that is running on no rest.  Sleep recharges your brain like a battery.
  • Before testing write down your feelings about the test.  Get all your thoughts and feelings out on paper.  Whatever fears you may have about testing, put it on paper.  A study done by University of Chicago showed that students who did this exercise showed better scores than those who did not do it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A brand new semester

We will have our first GED Test session for the 2012-2013 school year this week.  It's so exciting!  This semester's first GED Graduates will come from this week's testing.  I love getting those scores back from our scoring service.  I love seeing our students pass their tests and eventually graduate.  It's always a thrill working here and seeing the smile, the occasional tears, and the joy on the students' faces when they succeed.
At the end of the fall and spring semesters we hold a graduation ceremony.  This last August we had our last summer graduation that we will hold.  But it's always nice to see the students cross the stage and receive the recognition that they deserve.  You can see their family and friends cheer them on as they receive their diploma covers (the actual diploma is mailed to the recipient from Raleigh).
But that graduation, that passing score of anything over 2250 points should not be the end.  It should just be the beginning.  Having a GED Diploma is not enough in today's economy.  Employers are looking for skilled workers.  The GED Diploma is a door leading to better things, not an end.  At RCC we believe in our students.  So much so that we give them one free class in a continuing education class or a curriculum class for having finished their GED work with us.  Students can take anything with this voucher, from automotive to nursing, to photography to a computer literacy class.  Any class that we offer at RCC is open for this class.  While the GED will open the door to more options, at RCC we help our students take the next step.
During this Spring semester's curriculum graduation two students who earned their GED during my first semester here in Fall of 2009 walked across another stage, this time to accept their Associates Degree.  That was exciting!  They were moving on, moving forward to bigger and better things.  Things that would never have been possible if they didn't have their GED.  This last summer saw more of my graduates move on to receive their Associates as well.  And that tradition will continue.
When I see GED graduates out in town I always ask them what they are up to.  Some have found new employment, some have found better jobs, some are going to school as part of a certificate or degree program.  All of this is awesome.
At RCC we create opportunities that truly change lives.  If your life has been changed by being here at RCC we would love to hear your story. Maybe your words will help motivate another student out their to open that door to a world of opportunities that awaits those that earn their GED Diploma.