Constituting one in twelve of adult Americans, GED certificate holders comprise a major pool of underdeveloped human capital in our society. They are a resource that will be sorely needed as “boomers” reach retirement and the traditional pipeline of 17 – 23 year olds falls short of filling our growing workforce needs. Although these nontraditional students can potentially meet our future workforce demands, and although half of them enter post-secondary education, half of those who do so drop out of college for lack of basic support systems – often at the very same institutions that provided programs of retention while they were earning their GED and completing basic Adult Education classes. Yet national data collected by the National Center for Educational Statistics reveals that GED certificate holders who persist to their second year of community college studies accumulate grade point averages equal to high school graduates, refuting widely held beliefs that GED earners are not capable of rigorous academic work. This is the first book to remedy the dearth of data on this forgotten population, to present original research on these students, describing their characteristics and motivations, and to provide proven models for identifying, retaining and graduating this under-counted and underestimated cohort. It addresses the issue of the pipeline from GED centers to postsecondary education, and includes first-person narratives that offer vivid insights into GED earners’ resilience and needs. As this book reveals, more than 40 percent of community colleges responding to a 2010 ACT survey have no one responsible for coordinating retention efforts; and more than half have no goals for first-year student retention; and estimates that community colleges are cumulatively foregoing over $1.5 billion in revenues as the result of failing to retain their GED populations.This book is a comprehensive resource for college administrators, and for educational policy makers and researchers, offering both broad policy recommendations and tested ideas and models that can be implemented at the state and institutional level.
EDITOR'S NOTE ON THE FOREWORD FOREWORD Story Musgrave PREFACE Angela Long INTRODUCTION Angela Long PART ONE. THE VOICE OF THE RESEARCHER 1. IDLE ASSETS An Examination of America's Underdeveloped Capital Christopher M. Mullin 2. AMERICA'S UNTAPPED RESOURCE Taking a Closer Look at GED Student Populations Margaret Becker Patterson 3. FROM GED® TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION The Role of Institutions Wei Song PART TWO. THE VOICE OF THE STATEWIDE LEADER AND ADMINISTRATOR 4. REDEFINING COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS Helton "Hep" M. Aldridge 5. STATE OF EDUCATIONAL TRENDS The Developmental Education Dilemma Mark A. Heinrich 6. LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP K–12 Dropout Prevention Models in Promoting Postsecondary Education Success Steve Dobo 7. DELVING INTO THE TRENCHES A Practitioner’s Perspective Pamela Blumenthal 8. INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL Santa Fe Scholars Program as a Model for the Future Jackson Sasser PART THREE. THE VOICE OF THE STUDENT. PROMOTING RETENTION FROM A STUDENT LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE 9. FROM GED® TO MASTER’S DEGREE Leah Rapoza 10. THE POWER OF STUDENT LEADERSHIP IN TRANSFORMING LIVES Frederick Parks Jr. 11. REFLECTIONS OF A PEER MENTOR LEADER Catlin Cade PART FOUR. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 12. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Angela Long APPENDIX ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS INDEX
"Using a wealth of data and perspectives from stakeholders who range from researchers and administrators, to students, the book seeks to sensitize those in charge of America's higher education enterprise to the uniqueness of a vulnerable student population that, with a little recalibration, could better integrated into the world of higher education. The value America's Forgotten Student Population brings is that it shows that ideas on how to better serve the GED population, while not necessarily inexpensive, are actionable and worthwhile. And it points out, in dollars and cents, just how costly the consequences of inaction can be."
Diverse Issues in Higher Education
"America's Forgotten Student Population is an important addition to the analysis of the inadequate education of the American populace. It is critical that we understand and resolve the obstacles that lead to a high percentage of students dropping out rather than becoming significant contributors to our society."
- Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., Emeritus Professor, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Surgery, and Pediatrics at John Hopkins, Chairman & CEO, American Business Collaborative, LLC, Biography “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story” by Sony Pictures
"This book sheds some much needed light on an understudied part of our higher education system. Researchers and policymakers should take heed of the potential to tap into the underutilized human capital present in GED Completers as a means to improve national competitiveness and promote individual opportunity."
- Nicole M. Chestang, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, GED Testing Service
"This important book provides a rich set of perspectives on the needs, aspirations, and, yes, potential for success of an often neglected population of college students: those who earned a G.E.D. instead of a high school diploma. It is a must-read for college educators who want to understand who these students are and how better to serve them."
- Davis Jenkins, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
"America's Forgotten Student Population shines a spotlight on the many difficult challenges that GED recipients face when they pursue post-secondary education. But fortunately, for the thousands of GED recipients in the U.S., this book highlights steps that colleges, schools, and communities can take to provide GED recipients with the kinds of information, supports, and advice that can propel them to success in higher education and careers. This book makes clear that we should no longer consider GED recipients second to high school graduates; rather, with the right kinds of assistance and support they can be just as successful.”
- Betsy Brand, Executive Director, America Youth Policy Forum
"America's Forgotten Student Population: Creating a Path to College Success for GED Completers is a remarkable book that combines ground-breaking research on the lifelong learning of dropouts with very moving personal stories of students who have gone on to succeed in their lives. I strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand the social, educational and economic dimensions of these issues facing millions of adults in our country as well as what we can do about it."
- Stephen Reder, Ph.D., Literacy, Language, and Technology Research Group, PSU, Author, "Literacy in America", Professor of Linguistics, PSU
" Dr. Angela Long has a distinguished record of working with students from diverse populations. America’s Forgotten Student Population provides critical strategies for those who recognize the importance and significance of post-secondary education for underserved students in our global society."
- Kevin A. Christian, Senior Program Associate, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, American Association of Community Colleges
"I'm pleased to see the release of Dr. Long's important book on America's Forgotten Student Population, as broadening educational opportunities have become an important component to our future. The research and observations presented within regarding these opportunities - and the role mentoring plays - can only benefit generations to come."
- Dr. Nathan Whitaker, co-author of the New York Times bestsellers, "The Mentor Leader", "Quiet Strength" and "Through My Eyes"