How to Find Adult Education and Earn Your GED in Kentucky

The information you need to pursue your GED credential in Kentucky.

Student Focused by Cultura/yellowdog - Getty Images
Cultura/yellowdog - Getty Images

In the late 90s, a special task force in Kentucky recognized that "adult illiteracy was a fundamental barrier to every major challenge facing the Kentucky, including early childhood education, education reform, economic development, and improving the health and well-being of Kentucky's families and communites," and they did something about it. The General Assembly in the state passed the Kentucky Adult Education Act in 2000, increasing funding for adult education, and identifying four urgent priorities:

  1. College readiness
  2. Student success
  3. Research, economic, and community development
  4. Efficiency and innovation.

The department of Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE), a unit of Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary Education, is responsible for increasing the number of college-ready GED graduates. Its vision is that "Kentuckians will experience a higher standard of living and quality of life through increased educational attainment." Its mission: To prepare adult students to succeed in a global culture and economy by delivering a world-class education.

In 2014, when options became available for GED and high school equivalency testing, Kentucky chose to continue its partnership with GED Testing Service, which now offers the new 2014 computer-based GED test.

If you are an adult student in Kentucky pursuing a GED, you'll want to click on the Student tab on the left navigation bar on the main KYAE Web page. From there, you can find free adult education programs in each of Kentucky's 120 counties, with a phone number for each.

You'll also find a link to the GED Testing Service, where you can find additional information about free services available to you.

Kentucky offers other services for adults seeking to improve their situation. Click on Services in the left navigation bar for information about learning English as a second language, civics education for students seeking citizenship, family literacy programs, workforce education, and corrections education.

Workforce Education

There is also a push in Kentucky to help unemployed and underemployed adults develop the skills they need to earn a GED, progress to postsecondary education, and find employment with wages that can support a family. With this goal in mind, the state participates in the WorkKeys and National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) programs developed by ACT, an assessment company.

The programs focus on preparing students to exhibit essential workplace skills such as effective communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, problem solving, and critical thinking, and raises awareness of diversity.

Graduates are provided with a certificate that documents their proficiency in certain workforce skills:

  1. Reading for information - comprehending work-related reading materials, from memos and bulletins to policy manuals and governmental regulations.
  2. Applied math - the ability to apply mathematical reasoning to work-related problems.
  3. Locating information - using information from materials like diagrams, floor plans, tables, forms graphs, and charts.

To graduate, you must take three assessments, or tests. Certificates are issued on three levels: silver, gold, and platinum, based on your scores for all three assessments.

There is an NCRC Plus program that adds soft skills to the mix:

  • Work Discipline - productivity and dependability
  • Teamwork - tolerance, communication, and attitude
  • Customer Service Orientation - interpersonal skills and perseverence
  • Managerial Potential - persuasion, enthusiasm, and problem solving.

For more information about Kentucky Adult Education, be sure to take a look at the PDF titled KYAE Profile on the KYAE Facts and Figures page. It highlights some very interesting statistics, including goals and progress so far. They estimate that a person with a GED or high school equivalency certificate earns an average of $9,300 more per year in Kentucky than non-graduates. "The potential earnings for 2014-15 Kentucky GED graduates alone will be nearly $464 million over a 30-year career."

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