July 11, 2013

Multnomah County has joined with community partners to help local students complete their General Education Development test, commonly known as the GED, before the test changes at the end of 2013.

The GED, which is an equivalent alternate to a high school diploma, is changing to better reflect the increasing expectations of colleges and employers. The new test, which will be effective on Jan. 1, 2014, will be entirely computer-based and will require more complex math and writing skills.

The test changes impact every current GED student. Students who do not finish all five sections of the current GED exam will have to start the entire exam over in 2014 because their scores on the current test will expire.

Multnomah County Department of Community Justice’s Londer Learning Center, which assists men and women on probation and parole to earn their GEDs and find jobs, has opened its doors to help adults seeking to complete their GED before the end of the year.

Londer Learning Center, the City of Portland’s Office of Violence Prevention and four tutoring sites have collaborated to provide free tutoring and low-cost GED testing to low-income adults at sites across Portland.

“[At Londer Learning Center] we’re trying to provide access and opportunity to adults who dropped out but are too old to return to school,” Londer Learning Center Manager Carole Scholl says. “It’s a great opportunity for adults to get started on their futures -- a GED will help open doors to employment, job training and college.”

According to Londer Learning Center staff, getting the word out about GED changes is critical. Rather than just tell students that the test is changing, the center has launched a GED Closeout Campaign. The campaign includes intensive goal-setting and progress checks with students, increased class and tutor times, notifications to parole/probation officers, poster and flyers and recruitment.

The Londer Learning Center recruited and trained about 40 volunteer GED tutors who will work with students at various community sites. Tutoring will take place at the Londer Learning Center in downtown Portland; Rosewood Community Center in East Portland; Africa House in Southeast Portland; Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) in North Portland; and Straightway Services in Northeast Portland. Times vary at each site.

Sign up for the Closeout Campaign by calling the Londer Learning Center’s GED Tutoring Hotline at 503.319.1899 or email carole.a.scholl@multco.us. For more information, visit the Londer Learning Center website