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Paris Adult Education center encourages GED enrollment while free

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Although the General Education Development (GED) test is free in Arkansas, officials have said that, effective Jan. 1, 2014, test-takers can expect to pay $120 – possibly more.

Also, starting this July, new federal standards go into effect that stress earning GEDs and entering the workforce, according to the Arkansas Department of Career Education (ACE).

Because of these upcoming mandates, Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus is encouraging people to take advantage of its Adult Education program, which has an office in Paris.

Located in the Paris High School gym annex/health room at 602 N. 10th St., the Logan County Adult Education office is open from 1:30-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Connie Dunn, director of Arkansas Tech-Ozark Adult Education, said, “Right now, there is absolutely no cost for the student. So, for anyone who’s been thinking about completing his or her education, now is the time.

“We welcome students into our program anytime. It’s an open entry and exit, meaning that students may begin and finish during the school year.

“We design a program of study for each individual and allow students to work at their own pace. Our teachers and staff have one goal: helping students succeed.”

Arkansas is now one of two states in America to offer the five-part test – as well as pre-testing and transcripts – for free. Starting in 2014, each GED section will cost $24.

ACE Director Bill Walker has said it isn’t clear whether the $24 per test also will be charged for pre-testing or to retake sections of the test.

Judy Davis, head instructor for the Logan County office, said, “If anyone wants to improve their basic skills, has tried to get a GED in the past and failed, or is planning on going back to college and needs a refresher for the entrance exam, this is a wonderful program – and it’s free.

“Paris High School has been very generous to us, and we’re always excited and dedicated to serving the Paris community.”

Dunn said, “Earning a GED opens the door to many opportunities, such as getting a job or getting into college.”

Sandy Hatcher, Human Resources director for Stark Manufacturing in Paris, said her business only considers hiring applicants who possess either a high school diploma or a GED.

“It is very important to continue your education” Hatcher said. “Acquiring a GED opens doors of opportunities where not having one would keep them closed.”

More information is available by calling Davis at (479) 209-5568 or e-mailing to jdavis@atu.edu.

Dunn said, “We hope that by getting the word out about the upcoming costs, people will take advantage of our classes.”

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PHOTO: Judy Davis, left, head instructor at the Logan County Adult Education office, and Connie Dunn, director of Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus Adult Education, are encouraging people needing a GED to enroll in the Arkansas Tech-Ozark GED program before test – which is currently free – begins to cost test-takers.

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