The Tama County Education Center has announced its first graduate under the new High School Equivalency Diploma (HiSED) program.
The HiSED brand of testing (which has replaced G.E.D.) was implemented throughout Iowa in January 2014. The new testing format was designed to better align with Common Core Curriculum and current high school standards.
Jessica Holland completed her final test on June 20, 2014. She had dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and was a single mom with three children by the age of 23.
She worked various jobs as a CNA and in a factory while trying to support her family. Earning a high school diploma had been a goal of Jessica's for the past 20 years, but finding time to attend class, work, and raise children was not easy.
She began seriously pursuing her diploma again in 2010. Jessica passed the Reading, Writing, Social Studies, and Science tests but was not able to qualify to take the Math final. Jessica had to start the testing process over when she registered in January of 2014 because the G.E.D tests she had passed were not compatible with HiSED tests.
Jessica became unemployed after a recent work injury and decided it was time to stop making excuses and pursue her diploma.
Instructor Mary McCann Fuchsen says "Math was the only subject holding Jessica back from earning her G.E.D previously so we spend most of the time learning and reviewing content in that area. I knew that once she passed the Math portion, the rest of the tests wouldn't be a problem for her."
Jessica wants other potential students to know that people who have dropped out of high school still have options, regardless of their age. People can better their education, career and lives by earning their diploma. Jessica says people who are dedicated and motivated could possibly earn their diploma within a semester. She felt self-conscious coming into the center and starting the program, but now realizes she has unlimited opportunities!
This fall, Jessica plans to enroll in the Phlebotomy Technician Program offered in Marshalltown though Iowa Valley Continuing Education.
The Tama County Education Center operates year round Monday-Thursday from 9am to 4pm and offers both English as a Second Language classes from 9am to noon and HiSED classes from 1pm -4pm. Students are encouraged to register by stopping in and filling out a form. Students can study independently or receive one on one assistance from the instructor.
Registration fees are $25 per quarter. An online option for HiSED is available for advanced students unable to attend during regular class hours.
Mary McCann Fuchsen has been transferred to the Education and Training Center in Marshalltown. Ricarda Drummer, who began teaching at the Tama County Education Center on July 21 is eager and excited to work with students to assist them in reaching their full potential. She has six years of experience teaching ESL classes and holds a degree in Industrial Engineering.
For more information contact Ricarda Drummer at the Tama County Education Center at 641-484-8002 or inquire on the 2nd floor of the Partnership Center at 215 W. 9th St., Tama, IA 52339.