Council on Postsecondary Education
Free GED testing and National Career Readiness Certificate assessments now offered
Two important education and workforce credential tests will be free to eligible Kentuckians on a first-come, first-served basis through June 30 or until funds are expended. Free GED tests and assessments to earn a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) are sponsored by Kentucky Adult Education, a unit of the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Department of Workforce Investment, an agency of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, using federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) incentive funding.
“We are pleased to offer free testing because it will help many Kentuckians re-energize their education and careers,” said Council on Postsecondary Education President Bob King. “For many Kentuckians, earning a GED is a necessary first step toward college and a career with a family-sustaining wage.”
The GED tests provide adults who did not finish high school with the opportunity to certify their attainment of high school-level academic knowledge and skills. Free GED classes are available through local adult education programs in all 120 Kentucky counties.
Free testing in 2011 led to a 10 percent increase in the number of Kentuckians earning a GED. A total of 10,294 GEDs were earned in Kentucky in 2010-11.
“The current economy is tough for everyone but has an even greater impact if you are looking for work and do not have your high school diploma,” said Reecie D. Stagnolia, vice president, Kentucky Adult Education. “We see this as a way to help the individual student and to help increase educational attainment in Kentucky at the same time.”
Kentuckians interested in taking advantage of free classes and the time-limited free GED testing should contact the adult education center in their county to discuss how to get started. To find the local adult education center, call (800) 928-7323 or visit www.KnowHow2GoKy.org.
The NCRC is a national certification that indicates work readiness by administering three WorkKeys assessments: applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. These specific workplace skills are needed in 77 percent of all jobs profiled for WorkKeys testing.
“NCRC is the quantifiable tool that allows employers and economic developers to measure terms such as ‘we need a qualified workforce’ into a credential that means the same thing in Bowling Green, Ohio, Bowling Green, Virginia, and Bowling Green, Kentucky,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment.
Eligible individuals can obtain free NCRC testing through local One-Stop Career Centers and adult education centers. This offer is time and space limited, so those interested should schedule through one of these testing locations early and should request a “free NCRC.” To find a One-Stop Career Center, visit www.oet.ky.gov/des/wis/wfservices.htm.