From GED to College Degree: Creating Pathways to Postsecondary Success for High School Dropouts

This report from Jobs for the Future examines the GED as a pathway to postsecondary success. Authors John Garvey and Terry Grobe note that although 60 percent of GED test takers express a desire to further their education beyond the GED and nearly half of all GED holders go on to postsecondary education, only 4 percent earn a degree. They argue that GED test takers are poorly prepared for college, partly because the GED narrowly focuses on passing the minimum standards of the exam, rather than building comprehensive literacy and numeracy skills. The report identifies aspects of the best-performing GED to college programs that have innovative instruction and “college-connected” designs, points out key principals to be included in redesigning “GED to College” programs, and raises public policy suggestions for changes to the GED exam. The authors recommend that educators should emphasize the transformative potential of college and establish a college-going culture with high standards for everyone in order to combat chronic disengagement.

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Jobs for the Future
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Keyword: Population