No GED graduation ceremony at Waubonsee?
Waubonsee Community College might not have a GED graduation ceremony this year due to a dramatic decrease in the number of students who have completed their degrees.
The drop, to 30 students, is attributed to changes the state made in GED testing early in 2014, said Deborah Lovingood, executive vice president of educational affairs and chief learning officer.
In 2014 the program produced 100 graduates; in 2013, there were 250, a blip likely caused by people wanting to take the test before it changed, she said. There were about 100 graduates in 2012, and about 200 in 2011.
Usually at least 60 to 80 of the graduates would attend the ceremony, Lovingood said.
"We are just monitoring to see if enough are interested in marching to have a ceremony," Lovingood said of the GED recipients. If there are close to 25 people, the traditional ceremony would likely go forward. If not, some other kind of recognition would be pursued.
Waubonsee has had an annual ceremony since 1974.
From 2011 to 2014, enrollment in the program averaged 566 students, according to college spokesman Jim Sibley. This school year, 415 people have enrolled, he said. Two eight-week courses are offered each in the spring and fall semesters, and two four-week courses are offered during the summer semester.
The test that debuted in January 2014 was changed to align with the Common Core academic standards that schools must meet. There are four tests: "Reasoning Through Language Arts," "Mathematical Reasoning," science and social studies.
Among other changes is the state now requires the test be taken via computer. The test is also more expensive. It used to cost $50 and is now $120.