The assessment center designation has meant that DACC had to buy two-dozen new computers for the center using technology grant money.
“We had to buy all new computers, and we augmented that room to become a computer-based center,” she said.
A computer instructor also was added to the adult education department in the spring because concerns were raised that some adult education students would need to be taught basic computer skills, such as typing, cutting and pasting, dropping and dragging, using a mouse and using drop-down menus, in order to take the GED test.
“As soon as we knew what was happening (with the GED), we got her in here immediately,” Williams said.
DACC staff discovered, though, that most adult education students had some knowledge of computers, so computer skills now have been blended with the core subjects being taught, she said.
According to Williams, the most troublesome aspects of the new GED program are the cost to the student to take the test and the increased rigor of the testing. She said it is her understanding that part of the $70 increase to take the test is going back to the assessment centers at a rate of $5 an hour to offset the cost of hiring staff and purchasing equipment for the sites.
“Being a GED student once myself, I can relate to being that person taking the test,” she said. “I think it’s going to be extremely cost prohibitive.
“It’s really going to impact the area in the long run,” Williams said. “Not only is it going to hurt individuals, it’s going to hurt the community, and there will be fewer people in the labor pool (because of the cost of obtaining a GED).
“If we don’t pitch in, we’re going to perpetuate issues,” she added.