200 receive GED through program: Good Neighbor Initiative recently marks one-year anniversary

200 receive GED through program: Good Neighbor Initiative recently marks one-year anniversary

More than 200 Cache Valley residents have successfully obtained a GED through Stevens-Henager College’s Good Neighbor Initiative — a campuswide program that just marked its one-year anniversary.

The Good Neighbor Initiative, or GNI, is a community outreach service that provides classes, workshops and education at no cost to participants, including covering the costs of exam fees such as the GED exam. Logan currently offers one class to help people prepare for the GED.

The program offers a boost to those who did not complete high school even as the graduation rate in the state of Utah increased by 9 percent statewide, and the dropout rate has decreased by 10 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to the Utah State Office of Education’s graduation report.

Overall, Utah has a 19 percent dropout rate, according to the state figures.

“To me, even one graduate is amazingly successful,” said Charity Wallentine, GED coordinator at the Logan campus, of the rate Logan has produced successful GED takers. “The purpose of the GNI is to help people reach their full potential, I do tell people when they come in and introduced themselves, ‘Tell me your name and what your plans for the future are.'”

The GNI program is important, Wallentine said, because Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that by 2014, 80 percent of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States will require some level of post-secondary training or education.

In addition, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and higher education officials are pushing for 66 percent of the adult population to have some sort of post-secondary education by 2020.

“Ninety percent of them want to get a post-secondary education somewhere,” Wallentine said. “My mindset is education changes lives, and I want them to get as much education as possible.”

For more information about the Good Neighbor Initiative, visitwww.goodneighborinitiative.com. For more information about the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, visit www.cehe.org.

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