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Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System's GED Program

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library

Innovation Leader: Gayle Holloman, Central Library Administrator, gayle.holloman@fultoncountyga.gov

Problem Statement

As the economy struggles and the job market is extremely competitive, more demands are being made on GED services, including training and testing. The GED training and testing program has been offered at the library system’s Central Library since 2004, and with the number of participants and tests administered increasing every year, the services were pushed beyond capacity at the one location.

Innovation

The library system applied for and received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in order to expand its GED program to its College Park Branch as a satellite location. The program began serving participants in June 2009 and is filling a need in that community, already producing significant growth in the number of individuals taking the test and receiving their GED, furthering the impact of this important effort.

Tests are given to those at least 16 years of age, not currently enrolled in a regular high school and who have not graduated from an accredited high school or received a high school equivalency certificate or diploma. The GED program is also used as a “jumping off” point for the library system, which cross-promotes its other adult education and literacy offerings as the participants finish their GED tests. These resources include:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • A wide variety of free computer classes
  • Georgia Work-Ready Assessment / Key Train online programs
  • Examples of academic tests and civil service examinations, both for check out and online
  • Free registration booklets for SAT, GRE, PRAXIS, LSAT, TOEFL, ACT
  • www.afpls.org offers study sites such as Learn-A-Test, the Georgia High School Graduation Test and the End of the Course Test for online practice tests

Progress

In 2009, 2,253 total individual tests were administered and 229 adults graduated from the Library’s GED Testing Center. In just 10 months since the program began, the College Park Branch has served 152 adults (June 2009 through February 2010) at 15 registration sessions and 45 testing sessions. Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System also was awarded the “Largest Growth in Number of GED Test-Takers” award from the Technical College System of Georgia. The Library System received the award for its growth measured from 2007 to 2009, both in total examinations passed and total examinees.