/ Modified mar 9, 2016 11:49 a.m.

Pima GED Program: Second Chance for Dropouts

Tougher test, higher costs, yet it offers hope for those in dead-end jobs.

Pima college Adult Ed Ceremony
Malena Larson

By Malena Larson, For Arizona Public Media

LISTEN:

Pima Community College offers a free Adult Basic Education Program to prepare students for a test that is equivalent to receiving a high school diploma. Anyone is welcome to enroll.

One recent graduate of the program was Israel Gonzalez, who received his GED after preparing for eight months.

Gonzalez says his reasoning for joining the program was, “mainly to provide for my family, I think, and some type of pride obtaining my GED and you know, moving on to the next step.”

There are various courses available to students either online or in person, which includes: in–depth reading, writing, social studies, science and math.

The test price has increased by $90, since 2013, and now costs $140. Each subject is a separate test that costs $35 with a $15 retest fee.

The average pass rate in Arizona from January of 2014 until last month was about 71 percent.

At Pima Community College’s Testing Center, the pass rate was 71 percent, or 585 people.

PCC serves roughly 5,000 GED students a year with three large learning centers and various campus locations. These learning centers are located at El Rio Learning Center, El Pueblo Liberty Learning Center, 29th Street Coalition Center, and classes in multiple community sites as well as four campuses.

Students who have earned a high school diploma typically earn roughly $9,000 more over an individual who hasn’t. For more information about the program visit Pima's website.

Malena Larson is a University of Arizona journalism student and an intern for Arizona Public Media.

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