Arkansas’s Top 25 GED Scorers to be Honored at State Capitol this Week

LITTLE ROCK – The 25 highest scorers on Arkansas’s General Educational Development (GED®) Tests will be honored during a ceremony in the Old Supreme Court Room in the state Capitol in Little Rock at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 15. Governor Mike Beebe, Arkansas Department of Career Education Director William L. “Bill” Walker, Jr., and Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Dr. Jim Purcell will be at the event to offer their personal congratulations.

“The awards ceremony is a very special event for Adult Education in Arkansas because the top 25 GED scorers in Arkansas for 2009 are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments,” said Department of Career Education GED Program Manager Janice Hanlon. “In 2009, 8,657 individuals took the tests and 7,274 passed which reflects an 84 percent pass rate in Arkansas. The national rate stands at about 70 percent. Our adult education centers throughout the state do an excellent job preparing students for the tests.” 

Ninety-seven percent of colleges accept GED credentials for undergraduate admission, and a recent survey showed that 95 percent of employers viewed the credential positively in corporate hiring.  All 50 states use GED tests to measure the academic knowledge and award equivalency diplomas to residents who did not complete high school. Arkansas is one of only two states nationwide that does not charge a fee to take the GED test.

“People of all ages take the GED tests,” said Hanlon. “Last year, we had 29 Arkansans 60 years old or older take the GED.  Anyone who passes the test is awarded an Arkansas High School Diploma.  We are very proud of the individuals we are honoring.”

The Top 10 accepting and qualifying GED scorers will be awarded Second Effort scholarships from the Department of Higher Education in the amount of $1,000 each year for four years. The scholarships will be awarded contingent upon legislative approval.

The top 2009 graduate is Mark Joslin who tested through North Central Career Center in his hometown of Leslie at age 19.  Joslin plans to further his education in automotive service technology.