Finding a job or enrolling in a skilled training program is difficult without a high school diploma or a GED, says Donnie Spangler, Regional Program Manager of Roanoke Valley - Alleghany Region 5 Adult Education, which serves the counties of Alleghany, Roanoke, Botetourt and Craig, and the cities of Roanoke, Salem, and Covington. Having a secondary credential also offers more opportunities for promotions and higher pay, Spangler says.
But earning a GED certificate can be daunting - particularly for those who have been out of school for a while or are already working. The best path toward earning it is a GED Preparation and Career Readiness class.
The Region 5 GED and Career Readiness Program is funded through state and federal grants, and is free to enrollees. The program provides face-to-face instruction in each locality in the region. Students work at their own pace, and are taught the social skills needed for employment, as well as academic subjects. The program also offers ESL classes for anyone who needs more proficiency in English.
Those who pass the four-part test and earn a GED may be eligible to work with a Career Navigator, to determine what their next step will be - whether it’s joining the workforce, acquiring occupational training, or beginning their post-secondary education.
This fall, the Region 5 program will offer its first GED class at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, where students can access the facility’s library and other student support services.