Programs help students pursue career credentials while studying for the GED

Students without a high school diploma or GED are being helped through transition programs offered by school districts and state colleges in Florida.  A growing number of post secondary educational programs now allow students to begin studying to attain a career credential while working toward a GED. This option is being facilitated by programs which offer an alternative to traditional courses of study  that require a high school degree or equivalent before enrolling in college.  A 2010 study of the Workforce Strategy Center showed that fifty-seven percent of adults in bridge programs possess educational skills below the 10th-grade level, with 19 percent having skills below the sixth-grade level.

Donna Roberts, Assistant Professor, at Indian River State College stated, “These programs work and help students to succeed. The idea that they can get a head start on their future and see light at the end of the tunnel is very inviting. There are many motivating forces for adult education students. They have a strong need to apply what they have learned, or are learning, to the real world. They are motivated when they find relevance or worth in their studies. However, creating a culture and climate of continued support and mentoring for our students is a vital component of keeping them focused and motivated.”

Indian River State College and several other Florida institutions have been noted by the National Career Pathways Network as models in the field providing transition services for adults.  The focus on Career Pathways and the use of CHOICES, the free on-line career exploration program, are becoming part of the initial intake for many adult education students.


Some examples of programs that do not require a GED for completions include

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Air Conditioning
  • Refrigeration & Heating
  • Autocad Foundations
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Barbering
  • Basic Electronics
  • Child Development & Early Intervention
  • Culinary Operations
  • Commercial Vehicle Driving
  • Cosmetology/Nails/Facials
  • Dietetic Management & Supervision
  • Digital Media Support
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Electronics; Electronic Technology
  • Graphic Design Support
  • Insurance
  • Landscape & Horticulture Technology
  • Lasers & Photonics
  • Legal Administrative Specialist
  • Medical Administrative Specialist
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Patient Care Assistant
  • Phlebotomy
  • Private Security Officer & Statewide Childcare Worker.

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A new and innovative approach to recapturing high school dropouts using a Career Pathways Model is showing promising results in Miami Dade County Public Schools.
The Success Pathways Program at The English Center, a Miami–Dade County Public School, has incorporated a new twist in engaging disenfranchised young adults who left school with no diploma. Early results indicate that the former high school students ages 16-22 are attending more hours in class than similar students in other classes. Preliminary data also indicates that many of the students have transitioned into other classes.
The Success Pathways Program is designed to help students develop life skills, acquire study techniques, and gain focus on career alternatives while providing a means of succession in a GED program.
The students receive academic skills and career awareness based on the Career Pathways Model to support postsecondary transition. The objectives designed to help students to re-engage and strengthen a “school–going culture.”
Small class sizes, positive atmoshere and inovative technologies are proving to have promising results among dropouts.


Thanks for sharing! We’ve been really impressed with everything Miami-Dade is doing. Keep us posted on all your new offerings! We’d love for you to contribute a blog to let us know more about it and let our readers know where they can go 🙂


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