Puyallup Tribal members looking to further their education by pursuing their general equivalency diploma (GED) no longer need to look to outside resources to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to pass the test. Thanks to a new program recently approved by Puyallup Tribal Council, students can take advantage of an on-site preparation program that will give them the tools they need to further their education. This free program will be located at the Administration Building, where a GED instructor from Clover Park Technical College will provide the training that each student needs to succeed.
"For many students, it is uncomfortable to go to an outside resource for this kind of help," said Lisa Melendez, assistant educational incentive program coordinator. "But coming here, they know that they have the support of the staff, council and community."
There will be a mandatory orientation meeting April 16 from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Administration Building, where students can learn more about the program. The course is set to take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30-3:30 p.m. The instructor will focus on five sub-sections covered in the GED exam – language arts and writing, science, social studies, language arts and reading, and mathematics.
Students will take a placement test to alert the instructor of the specific needs of each individual. They can also take practice tests to better prepare for the final exam.
All books and materials, along with post-GED guidance, will be provided.
Tribal members taking part in the GED preparation program or those enrolled in higher education programs can also take advantage of a number of incentives. Students who successfully complete the GED receive a one-time incentive amount of $300, while students enrolled full time in higher education programs receive $500 per month.
"We hope students take advantage of this opportunity," said Higher Education Manager Angela Shippentower. "This can prepare them to move on to pursue a higher education. They can attend the college of their choice, and we pay tuition including books and supplies. There is no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity, because students can start a career in any field they would like."
For many people, not having a high school diploma or GED causes problems down the road. "This is one of the main barriers to employment," Lisa Melendez said. "There is a huge need for this program in our community, and it is wonderful that council has been gracious enough to meet this need."
Students can take the GED training courses as long as necessary to ensure they have the tools they need to pass the test. "Our instructor will not give up until they know these students will pass the exam," Angela Shippentower added. "The whole intention of the on-site GED program is to have more Puyallup Tribal members feel confident and empowered to pursue a higher education, and achieve their personal goals, hopes and dreams – while having a career of their choice, and be paid to do something they love and are passionate about."
If the program proves to be a success, other on-site educational training opportunities may be offered in the future.