Adult GED education switching to computerized format |

Adult GED education switching to computerized format

John Baker received his GED diploma during Colorado Mountain College’s graduation ceremony last year. This year’s June graduation ceremony in Glenwood Springs will honor 37 individuals who passed their GED exams. Many other campuses celebrated their GED graduates during May graduation or other summer ceremonies. Photo by Consuelo Cota
Consuelo Cota |

Students pursuing a General Educational Development diploma at Colorado Mountain College campuses throughout the state have until the end of the year to pass their test.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, Colorado Mountain College will retire its existing GED prep courses and adopt a computerized program. The transition is being made in accordance with new educational standards pushed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

Students who do not complete all of their prep classes and pass all six components of the GED test by the end of the year will lose the points they have earned and will have to start the process over from scratch, according to a CMC news release.

Although the test format will change in less than six months, Debbie Crawford, public information officer for CMC, said there’s still plenty of time for students to roll up their sleeves and complete the course.

GED preparation classes cost $10 per adult basic education unit, which is the equivalent of about 15 hours of classroom time with an instructor. Students may enroll in as many preparation classes as they want, but on average it takes three units, or $30 and 45 hours of classroom time, to properly prepare for the exam, Crawford said.

“My hat’s off to anyone who is trying to get their GED because it is not an easy test,” Crawford said. “But it can’t be overstated how important it is these days to have one.”

According to a 2010 study conducted by the Bell Policy Center in Denver, Coloradans who failed to complete high school or earn a GED experienced significantly higher rates of unemployment, the CMC release stated.

Former CMC student John Baker, 52, experienced firsthand the difficulty of landing a job when in 2010 he moved his family from Dolores to the Roaring Fork Valley town of Carbondale. Although Baker was a lifelong construction worker, he soon discovered the combination of a down economy, being new to an area and not having a GED made it impossible for him to find work.

Baker enrolled last year in GED prep classes at CMC’s Carbondale campus, where he studied for three months before earning his GED. Today Baker works as a historic preservationist in the maintenance division at Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado about an hour from Cortez.

“At 52 years old I was nervous about being the old guy in class, but it turned out there was a pretty good mix,” Baker said in the CMC news release. “I had a great teacher. I got a lot of support from my classmates. It’s the best thing I’ve done.”

The GED test consists of six components, including two language arts writing sections and one section each for social studies, science, language arts reading and mathematics.

GED preparation classes are offered at every CMC campus except Breckenridge. GED exams are administered at the Breckenridge, Dillon, Edwards, Granby, Glenwood, Leadville, Rifle and Steamboat campuses.

For more information, visit or call a local CMC campus.

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