If you’re looking into pursuing a career, you’ve probably already realized that you need a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential just to set yourself on the right path. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you want to be an accountant, a dentist, an engineer, a police officer, or any other similar type of professional, you simply have to have a high school diploma or a GED in order to pursue the career you want. Unfortunately, academic problems, family problems, financial problems, medical problems, and other similar issues can make it very difficult for an individual to obtain a high school diploma or a GED, and many students drop out long before they receive the education that they need. As a result, there are countless individuals who not only lack the diploma that they need to obtain a good job, but also millions of individuals who lack the knowledge that they need to earn a GED. This means that it can be very difficult for an individual who has never completed high school to obtain a diploma or a GED without brushing up on some of the skills that he or she would have learned in high school.
If you are one of the over 35,000,000 American adults that lack a high school diploma or a GED and lack the knowledge to obtain one, an adult education program may be able to help. An adult education program, which is also known as an Adult Basic Education (ABE) program, is a federally funded and/or state funded program that is designed for individuals who are over a certain age and require additional education at the high school level.
These programs offer a series of courses that teach basic knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, social studies, reading, and writing. These courses are designed to help a person pass the GED exam, and to function effectively in a work environment. These basic courses are only the beginning when it comes to adult education; in bigger cities, one’s options are virtually unlimited Programs offer assessments that students and teachers can use to determine their educational needs and monitor their progress, civics and citizenship courses for individuals who are interested in becoming U.S. citizens, educational support services that are designed to help individuals find the transportation and/or child care that they need to attend classes and/or work after they complete their classes, financial assistance for individuals seeking certificates or degrees at community colleges and other institutions of higher learning, job placement programs, resume writing workshops, special programs for adults with learning disabilities, and a variety of other similar services. These are simply a few of the courses related to work; there are many more, and (in many cities) hundreds of other courses available in all kinds of areas.
What Makes a Good Adult Education Student?
There are certain qualities that you must have in order to succeed in an adult education program. This is because these programs are designed to teach you almost all of the basic skills that you need to succeed in a career, but there are some skills that even these programs cannot teach you. What skill do you need to possess to succeed in these courses?.
- First, you must be goal-oriented. You will have to be able to set and accomplish many goals in order to enter land a good job and flourish in a career over the course of your working life. The same goes for finishing your education. You’ll need to be able to meet deadlines, set and stick to schedules, study and review on a regular basis, etc. Accomplishing these minor goals along the way is how one achieves bigger goals, such as earning a GED.
- Secondly, you must have some basic educational knowledge. An adult education program is designed to teach you some of the basic skills and concepts that a typical high school graduate should know. However, these programs are not designed to teach you everything that is covered in school from the beginning to the end because there simply isn’t enough time to cover every concept. Many of the courses that you will be required to take will require you to have some knowledge of the concepts that a typical student learns in grades 1 through 8, so you can understand the concepts that you would typically learn in high school.
- Third, you must be able to follow directions. You will have to work very closely with a number of career counselors, teachers, and other educational professionals to identify your strengths and weaknesses, identify the goals that you need to achieve, and learn the skills that you currently lack. You won’t be able to succeed in an adult education program if you can’t follow your counselor’s and/or instructor’s directions.
- Fourth, you must be able to accept constructive criticism. The primary goal of these programs is to help you learn the skills that you need to succeed in work and life. No one is perfect, and you won’t master all of the skills that you need to learn immediately. You have to be willing to listen to your instructors and accept their advice when you make a mistake.
Adult Education Statistics
You may be wondering, “How many adult education students actually do succeed after they complete their program and what guarantee do I have that an adult education program will actually help me succeed?”
Well, to be perfectly frank, there are no guarantees that completing a program will help you to accomplish all or even most of the things you hope to accomplish, but it is important to remember that there are a vast number of people who have succeeded as a result of the skills that they learned in such a program. In fact, there are millions and millions of them, and they outnumber the people who finished one of these courses but failed in life by factors in the thousands. In other words, for every person who has taken the time and initiative to put in the hard work necessary to complete one of these programs, without seeing much benefit from their efforts, there are literally thousands and thousands of people who would tell you the exact opposite story. They would say that the course they took was a turning point in their life, and their lives have been so much better, easier and more rewarding for having taken the course. So, if you’re having trouble accepting the idea that a program may be able to help you, always keep that in mind. Here are a few more things to consider.
- First, if you do not have a high school diploma or a GED, you’re not alone. There are over 35,000,000 Americans that do not have a diploma or a GED, and this number is only continuing to rise. Unfortunately, the number of employers willing to offer an individual without a high school diploma or a GED a well-paying position is not on the rise. In fact, over 65% of employers within the United States now require their employees to have a diploma or a GED, and over 30% of employers in the United States now require their employees to have an associate’s degree or higher. So, in order for you to enter the field that you want to enter, or get any kind of decent job, you will probably need a diploma, a GED, and/or a college degree. An adult education program, as a result, can be extremely helpful because it can teach you the skills that you need to qualify for many of these good jobs.
- Secondly, if you don’t have a high school diploma or a GED, but you think you can make just as much as someone that does have one, think again. While it’s true that some people are lucky enough to become movie stars or rock stars without a high school diploma or a GED, most people have to face the reality that an individual without a diploma or a GED will earn over $250,000 less during his or her lifetime than an individual with a diploma or a GED. This is because the employers that are actually willing to hire an individual without a diploma or a GED are simply not willing to pay as much as other employers will, and an individual without a diploma or a GED may make up to 40% less than the average person makes. There’s simply no way around the fact that, if you want to make a decent to comfortable income, you need to have a diploma or a GED, and an adult education program can help you obtain these credentials.
- Third, if you think that you’re too old to go back to school, you may want to consider this: Of the over 52,000,000 Americans that have an associate’s degree or higher, approximately 35,000,000 of those Americans actually earned one or more of their degrees when they were over the age of 39.
- Finally, if you’re still not convinced that an adult education program may be able to help, you may want to consider this story: Joni Strennan was a teenage mother who dropped out of high school in the 10th grade to take care of her two children. To help make ends meet, she worked a dead-end job that didn’t pay very much and after years of putting up with a husband who was never around, and having virtually no money, she decided to start over and pursue a career. In order to do this, she enrolled in an adult education program, which taught her the skills that she needed to pass the GED Exam. This allowed her to earn her GED, complete a series of electronics courses at the Washington Institute of Technology, become the first woman to ever earn an engineering degree from California University (which she earned with honors), and begin a lucrative engineering career.