Board members on Tuesday approved changes to Policy 2444.4: Issuance of the State of West Virginia General Educational Development (GED) Diploma and placed the policy on a 30-day comment period. This update incorporate changes to state law designed to improve student participation, success and high school graduation rates.
The changes will allow West Virginia to participate in the GED Option program through the American Council on Education GED Testing Service. The program will allow students to remain enrolled in high school while completing GED requirements. Currently, those under age 18 who want to pursue a GED must withdraw from school before taking the GED test.
In addition, West Virginia’s program goes further by allowing potential GED students to remain in career and technical education courses. These students will be able to earn a GED as well as certification in their chosen career-technical field resulting in a high school diploma. The GED is recognized by 98 percent of employers, as well as colleges and universities.
“The GED Option would cut down on the dropout rate considerably,” Debra Kimbler, West Virginia’s GED coordinator, told the board. “In 2009, the number of 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds that we administered the GED to came to 1,322. That means those students came knocking on our doors asking for a GED. We hope that offering the GED in high school that we will keep more students in high school where they belong.”
Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the proposed changes and make suggestions. All policies can be viewed on the West Virginia Department of Education website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.