What is the Adult Education Experience?
The Adult Education Experience at St. Vincent & Sarah Fisher Center is a free, personalized tutoring program that focuses upon helping Detroit adults (age 18 or older) to becoming more self-sufficient and contributing members to the community and economy, through education. Our process works, because not everyone learns at the same pace or has the same comprehension capabilities. We help the students to learn, not just pass the GED.
Even though a student may have finished the 11th grade, doesn’t mean that they have an 11th grade skill level, according to national standards. Therefore, a student taking a standardized GED test without being at a uniform comprehension level, means low pass rates. And, if a student isn’t adequately prepared to take a standardized test and they do not pass, it adds to the student’s frustration and the increased probability that they may drop out.
Our staff has created a program that is different than other GED programs, with success rates that you won’t find in other GED preparation classes. And the reason is simple. We approach each student’s individual learning needs from a social work perspective. We identify the areas in which they need assistance and work to overcome barriers that have prevented them from reaching their goals.
When an adult obtains their GED, they are better positioned to obtain secure and stable employment. This economic empowerment is critical for the residents of our area. 80% of our students have told us that they are seeking their GED in order to better support their families.
A GED helps the adult, helps the family and helps our community.
How are we different than other GED programs?
- We aren’t a “class” - For many students, classroom settings are not conducive to learning and this is a contributing factor to why they did not receive a high school diploma. Our instructors work one on one with the student and encourage their self-motivation.
- We don’t have a deadline – Our students don’t have the pressure of taking the GED after a class session finishes. They take the test when they are ready and they can take as much or as little time as they need to become prepared.
- We personalize student learning – Through our assessment segment, we treat every student as an individual, tailoring the program to meet their own educational needs. Some students need less focus upon reading and more upon math. Others have more challenges with writing. Each student’s work plan is constructed to emphasize their strengths and work to meet their challenges. Our students don’t work from the same book at the same time. They work at their own pace.
- We identify if there is a barrier to learning - The Education Experience is not “one size fits all”. Different students need different motivation, types of assistance and varying degrees of emotional support. Our staff works with each student to identify if they have a barrier to learning that may be preventing them from achieving their goals. And the results of improved self-esteem, empowerment, knowledge and earning potential, are well worth the effort.
- We don’t stop with the GED test – When our students pass the GED, we want to keep the momentum going. So we work with our graduates to provide their “next step”, whether it is guidance in options and introductions to higher institutions of learning for continuing education, looking for work or obtaining vocational training. The important aspect that we actively encourage is to keep going to truly change the economic stability of their lives for themselves and their families.
- We pay for it - In an effort to reduce some of the barriers for our adult students, The Education Experience provides the following assistance for students that comply with the requirements of our program (such as attendance, studying, etc.):
- Registration and Results – the process of enrolling for a test and/or getting test results can be time consuming and overwhelming. Our staff will facilitate not only the registration for the test, but also work with the testing center to get the test results as quickly as possible.
- Testing Fees – We pay for the testing fees. The only cost to the student for our program is that they are required to purchase their own GED coursebook (currently $21). There is no charge to enroll in our program.
- Day Care – Some of our adult students are not able to continue their education, due to having to care for pre-school age children. We offer our adult students the opportunity to pre-arrange child care (age 5 and younger) in our facility, while the parent is in his or her study module.
- Transportation – We arrange transportation to and from the testing center for our students.
The Adult Education Experience Process
The five segments of the GED are: math, language arts reading, language arts writing, social studies and science. Statistics verify that math and language arts writing are the most difficult of the five segments. Therefore, our curriculum focuses upon writing and math skills. Here’s how our program works:
- Orientation – Students are exposed to the parameters of taking the GED, the benefits of this program, as well as the commitment required, including materials and participation.
- Assessment – Our program focuses on the critical element of determining where each student’s previous education left off. From that, we develop a personalized program, at a level of understanding that will ensure the student’s testing and learning success.
- Work Plan – Each student receives their own work plan, based upon the outcome of the Assessment test, their individual needs and learning abilities. Our staff and trained tutors work with each student one-on-one, to overcome challenges and achieve results. Students consist of three fundamental groups:
- Pre-GED – Students that have entered the program with reading and math abilities that have not gone beyond a qualified sixth grade level.
- GED Preparation – Students have obtained the required level of education (7th-12th grade) and begin preparation for taking the actual test, which consists of five separate testing segments. Preparation includes academic skill building, practice tests and coaching on what they will face in the testing environment itself.
- Testing – Actively taking the tests and/or re-testing in problem segments.
Note: The Education Experience at St. Vincent & Sarah Fisher Center reserves the right to discontinue a student’s participation in the program and strict standards are maintained in terms of attendance, participation, dress code and behavior while in our facility.