GED program to see changes

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer

Tricia Johnson, director of adult education at the Southeastern Career Center in Versailles, addressed concerns about the GED or General Education Developmental Diploma program being cut.

According to Johnson, the possible cuts are more like a restructuring or re-vamping of the program. She sees it as a challenging opportunity to work through the process “to come out better, stronger, and more effective.”

The situation revolves around being able to write an acceptable grant by this Friday, May 7. The paperwork to write the grant usually arrives in January of a new year but arrived in April this year. And, once the grant proposal is accepted, the adult education department will actually see an increase because the Department of Workforce Development is adding funding for regional coordinators.

This means there could be potential for more funding in the long run, but the concerns are "not knowing", which stirs up a lot of questions. While this is the usual procedure, all teachers for this program have received RIF notices including the director of adult education, Johnson. This is normal based on the fact that the department doesn’t even know how much funding they will receive from year to year. The budget is tight and will be even tighter if they don’t get state and federal funds which they usually receive, according to Johnson.

The funding for the GED program in 2010 is being restructured by the State of Indiana. This local program has been based on six counties, but will be restructured to reflect the new Region 9 Workforce area. Funding also comes through 12 local schools who feed into the career center. They support programming with funds and space.

What difference does the GED program make in our community? Anyone over 16 years of age who doesn’t have a high school diploma is eligible for the GED diploma. Receiving one enables people to improve the quality of their lives. The program is free and covers six counties: Ripley, Dearborn, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio and Switzerland. It also includes ESL or English as a Second Language.
The Adult Education Center does more than just GED classes and testing. They pre-test people to see where they place academically. They counsel people as to which step to take next in their academic placement.

In addition, they work with Workforce 1 and Family Services. They feel that “support is key” to the success of the individual student. They do all this hard work to improve the quality of people’s lives through education, according to Johnson.

The mission statement of the Adult Education Center is simple: “Believe to achieve.” Their goals are clearly stated as making a difference in the lives of others by seeing people have a learning gain, get their GED, gain employment, retain employment, and enroll in post-secondary education or career training.
The program has been in existence for more than 30 years. It has grown steadily and has continued to change with the changing needs of students. While the amount of students enrolled varies from year to year, right now 355 students are enrolled for the 2009-2010 school year.

If you are interested in enrolling for the GED program or night classes of any kind, contact the Southeastern Career Center and talk with Tricia Johnson at 812-689-5253 ext. 233 or email her at She will be happy to answer questions and help get you enrolled.