For years, 51-year-old Lizzie Cooper has been staying at home, doing what she could to help her family and take care of children and grandchildren.
But on Tuesday, July 9, the Bainbridge resident was among 40 who attended two GED orientation sessions at Bainbridge State College’s Adult Education Center.
“Now is my time,” Cooper said. “I got a lot of time on my hands, and I can’t get anywhere without a GED or high school diploma.”
After years of staying at home, Cooper said she now wants to get her GED and then find a new job – a job she would like. Part of her plan to finding a new job is to continue her education at Bainbridge State, either earning her degree in nursing or in criminal justice.
The same is true for father and son Bob Jerry Jordan Sr. and Bob Jerry Jordan Jr., both of Donalsonville.
Both have been working all their lives, but now they said it is their time to better themselves with a GED. For the immediate future, Jordan Senior needs to have a GED in order to earn a commercial driving license (CDL). With a CDL in hand, he wants to continue his education and get a degree in business. Jordan Junior wants to earn a degree in physical therapy.
Two orientation sessions held on July 9 were for new students wishing to earn their GED. On Monday, there was a session for returning students. Time is of the essence for students because in January 2014, the new GED test will be in effect, and it will be different and more rigorous. Furthermore, if a student has attempted to complete the test but lacks sufficient scores or has not passed certain sections of the test by January, they have to start all over and any previous tests or scores will be nullified.
Debbie McIntrye, coordinator of Bainbridge State’s Adult Education Center, said its staff is not just going to assist the students with passing the GED, but with their “future story,” which may include assisting them with financial aid and enrolling in college.
McIntrye said the students she sends to the testing center to take the GED have a 95 percent passing rate, saying the center tries to ensure a student is ready to take the GED and has studied adequately to pass it.
The division will host an orientation for new students at least once a month. McIntrye said the center will continue to target students’ needs based on how close they are to successfully passing the old GED and which students they would recommend study for the new test.
Decatur County’s GED center is the Bainbridge State College Shotwell Education Center, located at 315 S. Boulevard Drive (behind the Golden Corral at Bainbridge Mall). Classes will start Monday, July 15. Its hours are Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact the Bainbridge State Adult Education Division at (229) 248-2517.
For students who find it more convenient to receive lessons and orientation in Early, Miller or Seminole counties, here are the following locations and schedules:
Early County: The center is at Bainbridge State’s Early County Site located at 40 Harold Reagan Drive in Blakely. Its hours are Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (229) 723-5122.
Miller County: The center is located at 96 Perry St. in Colquitt. It is closed until early August, but once open, its hours will be Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Seminole County: The center is located at 203 E. Sixth St. in Donalsonville. It is closed until early August, but once open, its hours will be Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.