Adult Education Program now offers path to a high school diploma

Oct 9, 2015

A new program through the Bristol Bay Campus provides an alternative to the GED for adults seeking high school equivalency.

A teacher and student work on math skills at the Bristol Bay Campus Adult Education Program in 2007.
Credit UAF

Adults seeking high school equivalency in Bristol Bay now have an option besides taking the GED.

The Adult Education Program at the Bristol Bay Campus has come up with an alternative to the GED for adults who have aged out of high school* before getting their diploma.

Program director Sarah Andrew says the new program will allow young adults "to work through the Bristol Bay Campus, taking college developmental credits and having those credits transferred for a high school diploma."

The idea for the high school completion program was born after the nationwide GED was revised in 2014. Andrew says significant changes made it even harder for non-traditional students to pass the test.

"Not all of us are good test-takers. It’s difficult when you have a high-stakes test like the GED. Of course you can re-take the test, but the more often you take it and don’t pass, the more discouraging it is," says Andrew. "So this other option provides students with the possibility of taking courses where they can demonstrate their knowledge in other ways besides a test.

According to Andrew, the majority of adult education students in the region are between the ages of 24 & 40. Many are already working or seeking jobs. Because the adult education program is funded mainly by the Department of Labor,** Andrew says it focuses on helping students gain skills they can use in the workforce.

"Say if they’re working in a childcare setting, they can take an early childhood class, that then maybe we could transfer for HS credit for social studies or something like that," explains Andrew. "So it would be a student-by-student basis."

Once a student completes their high school graduation requirements, the Dillingham City School District will provide an official transcript and issue a diploma. The Adult Education program is also offered remotely --

"We actually have instructors in Togiak, Manokotak and New Stuyahok. And then we have students throughout the region who are working independently," says Andrew. 

According to Andrew, the new program already has about a dozen interested students. Applications can be found online at bbaep.net, at the Adult Education Program office at the campus, or at the MAP school.

*The high school does not recieve funding for students who turn 19 before July 1 in a given school year. For special education students, the cut-off age is 21.  

**BBEDC and BBNA also provide support for materials and tutors. 

Contact the author at hannah@kdlg.org.