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.

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