For a refresher

Carol Roehm/Commercial-NewsJeviel Shaw, 18, studies on a computer at Danville Area Community College in preparation to take the GED.

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College offers free GED refresher classes for residents in DACC’s district who are 16 years old or older.

The adult education classes prepare students to take either the GED or HiSET tests, and books are provided for use during the class period.

The next round of GED classes start Monday in Prairie Hall on DACC’s campus, but additional GED sessions are scheduled to start on various dates next month at sites around the county.

GED classes will be offered starting April 9 in the board room at the Housing Authority of the City of Danville, 1607 Clyman Lane, in the Fair Oaks Housing Complex. The classes will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.

Starting April 16 at the American Job Center (former unemployment office), 407 N. Franklin St., GED classes will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Classes also are offered in the evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday on DACC’s campus and at Westville Junior High, 412 Moses Ave., for students 18 and older.

Interested students need to register on the first day of each new session, with the exception of the GED classes on DACC’s campus for which the deadline to register is the Friday prior to the start of class.

“We run these classes every eight weeks, so students can sign up for these classes at any time,” Adult Education Director Laura Williams said.

“When they come to the college or one of the off-site locations, we will give them an assessment test to see where they’re at and place them in a class accordingly,” she said.

New students can be added to GED classes as existing students start to need less help and begin testing on sections of the GED, she said.

“Everyone is tested so we know what level they’re at,” Williams said, saying the material ranges from first grade to 12th grade. “We try to offer various levels so we can meet them where they’re at.

“From the time you quit school until now there is a gap, so you need to refresh your brain cells and get ready to take the test,” she said.

The classes are free of charge to students because they are sponsored by the Illinois Community College Board; however, students will need to pay either $120 to take the GED test or $90 to take the HiSET.

“Both tests count the same as high school equivalency in Illinois,” Williams said.

The HiSET is a paper-and-pencil exam that tests students in math, science, social studies, language arts reading and language arts writing. The GED is taken on a computer and covers the areas of math, science, social studies and general language arts.

Williams said GED students may be as young as 16 to begin taking classes, but they cannot take the test until they are 17.

After a couple years’ hiatus, DACC’s Hoopeston Higher Learning Center, 847 E. Orange St., will resume offering GED classes later this year, and GED classes also are offered at East Central Illinois Community Action Agency, 56 N. Vermilion St., under DACC’s umbrella.

Williams said she encourages anyone interested in earning their GED to do so.

“It’s the door opener,” she said of obtaining a GED. “If you want that job or you want to realize that dream of becoming what you want to be, we want them to sign up for the classes and move forward with their life.

“If you want a different life, you have to be brave,” Williams said, adding there is no shame in obtaining a GED ... even later in life.

“The shame is in not coming here,” she said. “The shame is knowing it’s here and not doing anything about it.”

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