Gateway to Success program helping GED students

By Tom Di Camillo, Director of Media & Community Events

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Central Arizona College is one of six organizations in Arizona selected to participate in a two-year pilot program to help GED students transition into college.

The College and Career Exploration Project will allow CAC to offer four special GED: Gateway to Success classes during the 2012 spring semester at the Casa Grande Center and Superstition Mountain Campus for GED students who are interested in pursuing a college or career pathway.

"The project combines the 0.5 credit GED: Gateway to Success course with the regular GED course to help students who are thinking beyond just receiving their diploma," Ronny Douglass, CAC's adult basic education program director, explained.

The 0.5 credit course is grant funded and will be offered to students interested in participating in the project prior to the start of the GED course. The grant provides the tuition cost for the 0.5 credit and the GED textbooks.

"CAC's project is based on the premise that obtaining a GED diploma is not the culmination of learning, but rather a necessary step to postsecondary education, training and life-long learning," Douglass said. "We created a 0.5 credit course that will be offered to students the first week of class. It is designed to help prepare students for success in the GED classroom as well as provide transition tools to higher education and career pathways."

The program course covers career interest and exploration, helps nurture different learning styles, and discusses the best practices for study skills, team building and goal-setting activities, as well as basic skills assessment.

"Students will learn about available college resources, including learning support and advising, and will be introduced to career information resources in order to construct individual career plans," Douglass said.

Roughly 100 of the 2010-11 adult education students registered for other CAC classes during the 2011 fall semester.

"As respectable as that number is, we believe we can significantly increase that by implementing this standardized transition component through our pilot project," Douglass said. "As a result of this intervention, we anticipate better attendance, retention and student success as well as an increased understanding of the skills necessary for various career paths."

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814