May 7, 2010 - Issue: Vol. 156, No. 68 — Daily Edition111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - 2nd Session
RECOGNIZING THE 10,000TH GED ``GRADUATE'' FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS COLLEGE ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM; Congressional Record Vol. 156, No. 68
(Extensions of Remarks - May 07, 2010)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E793] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RECOGNIZING THE 10,000TH GED ``GRADUATE'' FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS COLLEGE ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM ______ HON. JERRY F. COSTELLO of illinois in the house of representatives Friday, May 7, 2010 Mr. COSTELLO. Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing the 10,000th GED ``graduate'' from the Adult Education Program at Southwestern Illinois College. In 1990, Southwestern Illinois College changed its adult education programming from a general literacy effort to a program focused on preparing students for the GED test and transitioning them into postsecondary education. Martha Giordano, Ph.D., who headed the program then, recalls that ``It was like a light coming on. Students wanted a high school completion so they could move on. We had to make everything we did relate to this primary goal.'' The program revised its curriculum and course scheduling to accomplish that goal. Martha O'Malley, the St. Clair County Regional Superintendent of Education at the time, also saw the light and decided to help. She made GED testing locally available when she took on the responsibility of testing and persuaded the other district Regional Superintendents to do likewise. GED tests were administered monthly throughout the district and registration for testing became an ongoing activity in the regional offices. This practice continues to the present. ``This combination of intensive, highly focused instruction and frequent local testing accounts for our high numbers,'' states Giordano. ``When students come to our program, they know we will take them from where they are and push them forward until they are ready for that test.'' Southwestern Illinois College keeps careful records of the students who pass, and in October 2009, it recorded its 10,000th GED ``graduate.'' This year, at its annual GED Certificate Ceremony--May 19, 2010--the College and District will celebrate this important milestone. Southwestern Illinois College has one of the largest adult education programs in Illinois. It averages over 500 graduates annually, and last year 573 of its students earned the GED. Over the years 42 percent of these GED graduates have enrolled in undergraduate programs at Southwestern alone. ``We see our former adult education students in the halls and classrooms at SWIC and all about town,'' reports Janice Buchwald, the current GED Director. The program has students who have finished nursing programs, transferred to 4-year institutions and are working as lab technicians, graphic designers, cafeteria managers, salespersons and in a host of other occupations. Undoubtedly Southwestern Illinois College's adult education efforts are having a significant impact on the lives of many district residents. Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the board, administration, faculty and students of Southwestern Illinois College as they recognize and celebrate the 10,000th GED ``graduate'' from their Adult Education Program. ____________________