Calera Civitan Club President Larry Fikes presents an appreciation plaque to Central Alabama Community College Adult Education Director Bert Sims. (Contributed)
Calera Civitan Club President Larry Fikes presents an appreciation plaque to Central Alabama Community College Adult Education Director Bert Sims. (Contributed)

Archived Story

Free GED classes offered in Calera

Published 4:57pm Monday, March 11, 2013

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

‘Tis the season for college applications and scholarship searches. High school seniors have spent much of the past two years taking the ACT test, touring college campuses and applying for scholarships in preparation of graduation and continuing their education.

If you didn’t finish high school, it doesn’t matter why and you still can. Passing the GED test is the equivalent of getting your high school diploma. Bert Sims, adult education and skills training director at Central Alabama Community College, told Civitan members it’s never too late to finish high school.

“Ideally kids go to school and progress through 12 years of school and graduate,” Sims said. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out quite that well for all students. In Alabama, about 30 percent of students drop out. For whatever reason, there’s still lots of kids who don’t complete 12 years of school and get a diploma.”

Sims said people tend to stereotype dropouts as lazy, sorry, rebellious, dumb or some other similar trait. When asked why they dropped out, the answer is usually, “Momma and Daddy lost their jobs and I had to go to work.” Or, “We moved around 15 times and I was just never in one place long enough to make progress.” Almost every drop out has a plausible reason.

Alabama ranks fourth highest among the states in percentage of adult population functioning at the lowest rate of literacy. As many as 62 percent of Alabama businesses report a shortage of capable semi-skilled workers; 66 percent of manufacturers report that incumbent workers have serious deficiencies in math as well as oral and written communication skills, and are deficient in basic employability skills.

The GED test provides adults who didn’t complete a high school program the opportunity to attain high-school level knowledge and skills. Ninety-eight percent of colleges and universities that require a high school diploma accept the GED credential.

It’s never too late to obtain a high school degree. Free GED classes are offered to anyone 16 years or older at 1240 20th Avenue (behind the Calera Community Center) Tuesday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or Tuesday and Thursday 5-8 p.m. For more information call 668-4398 or 1-800-643-2657 extension 2017.

Mollie Brown is a business columnist for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.

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