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2/15/2013
Audit Finds Opportunities to Increase Adult GEDs
An audit, released February 6, recommends opportunities to increase the number of adults who earn General Education Development (GED) credentials to help achieve the state’s goal of ensuring that all adult Oregonians earn at least a high school diploma or equivalent by 2025.

“The GED certification provides adults the chance to be more competitive in Oregon’s changing workforce and to continue on to higher education,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown. “It is critical that we do all that we can to assist Oregonians in obtaining the education they need to thrive in today’s economy.”

Making Oregon more competitive in an increasingly service- and information-based economy led business leaders and policymakers to institute a statewide educational goal that emphasizes preparing students to succeed in post-secondary education. In 2011, the Oregon Legislative Assembly set the following goals to be achieved by 2025:

  • At least 40% of adult Oregonians have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • At least 40% of adult Oregonians have earned an associate’s degree or post-secondary credential as their highest level of educational attainment.
  • The remaining 20% of all adult Oregonians have earned a high school diploma, an extended or modified high school diploma, or the equivalent of a high school diploma as their highest level of education attainment.

Census numbers show that Oregonians without a high school diploma or equivalent have an unemployment rate of 15.6%, well more than double the 6.3% rate of Oregonians with a bachelor’s degree or greater. Auditors found that current strategies aimed at implementing Oregon’s 40-40-20 education goal do not sufficiently address the needs of the nearly 340,000 adult Oregonians who are currently without a high school diploma or equivalent. High schools do not routinely share with Oregon’s 17 community colleges or other organizations any information about students who recently dropped out. With this information, community colleges could attempt to contact former students about GED preparatory programs and the exam. Instead, many community colleges largely rely on traditional marketing and outreach efforts such as distributing flyers or including GED class information in course catalogs and college websites. There also is little statewide marketing effort to publicize the value of adults obtaining a GED credential.

Additional marketing and outreach practices could increase public awareness about the value of a GED.

In addition, better collaboration with other agencies and organizations can help ensure clients needing a GED credential are referred to local programs. Auditors also noted that funding to community colleges for GED preparation has been curtailed in recent years.

“We see the valuable role that community colleges play in helping adults obtain a GED,” said Gary Blackmer, the Oregon Audits Division Director. “We also found a number of strategies that could address this gap in our education system.”

The report can be found at the Secretary of State website .

The audit team included William Garber, CGFM, MPA, Deputy Director; Sheronne Blasi, MPA, Audit Manager; and Nicole Pexton, MPP, Staff Auditor. The Audits Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s office promotes the wise use of tax dollars, sound management and government accountability.

For more information, contact:

Tony Green, Director of Communications
Oregon Secretary of State
503-507-0082

Or, email Tony Green eMail
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Contact(s) for this Announcement
  • Donna Newbeck Email    (503) 947-5814
    Educator Effectiveness - Office Specialist (Charter Schools)
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