Black Hawk College celebrated the accomplishments of 75 students June 6 at the annual GED and High School Completion Graduation Celebration.
The event recognized Adult Education and Optional Education students from across the college district who completed all GED® or high school completion graduation requirements during the 2018-19 school year.
GED® graduates Aidan Hunter of Moline and Jessica McCord of Moline were the featured student speakers.
Traditional high school did not work out well for Aidan Hunter. As his first semester of school moved along, he found himself bored and unchallenged with his schoolwork. “I let my grades get to the point where I simply gave up on doing any homework. Not long after that I dropped out,” he said.
In January, Aidan walked into the Black Hawk College’ Adult Learning Center in Rock Island to enroll in the Youth GED® program. He wanted a program that fit his academic needs so he could graduate and go to college.
“With smaller class sizes allowing more one-on-one time between teachers and students, as well as flexible time schedules that allowed me to work at my own pace, this program was the only feasible way I could foresee myself being able to earn a degree and qualify for scholarships in college,” he said.
Aidan successfully reached his goal of graduating high school and enrolling in college. After receiving high scores on all four of his GED® tests, he was offered a substantial scholarship to Western Illinois University where he plans to study math this fall.
In February, Jessica McCord completed the Youth GED® program at the BHC Outreach Center in East Moline. While attending traditional high school, Jessica discovered that she was simply passing classes and not truly retaining information.
“I wasn’t worried about learning, I was worried about passing,” she said.
Jessica’s initial perception was “that the GED® was for people who couldn’t do high school.”
However, after enrolling in the Youth GED® program, she quickly learned otherwise. When studying to take a GED® test, “what you learn has to stick with you or you won’t pass because you are not taking a test for one lesson, you’re taking a test for a whole subject!
“Getting my GED® was perfect for me because I worked at my own pace, got as much one-on-one time as I wanted, and had an amazing teacher the whole time,” she said.
Jessica participated in two college and career readiness programs through the BHC Adult Education Department.
TEAM is a Title I program that provides students ages 16-21 with careers services and postsecondary preparation. The program provided her with career exploration, on-the-job training and important employability skills while she worked as a receptionist at the Outreach Center.
Jessica also participated in pre-bridge and bridge health care classes aimed at preparing Adult Education students for successful transition into college-credit classes. She plans to begin the BHC Patient Care Assistant Certificate program this fall.
GED and high school completion classes at Black Hawk College are offered at no cost to students and are conducted in a variety of locations. New sessions will begin in August.