(Topeka, Kansas) - There are over 230,000 adult Kansans without a high school diploma, but earning a GED while also gaining a technical certificate is easier than ever before thanks to record-setting support from the state of Kansas and the Department for Children and Families. Now the challenge is to get the word out.
Launching this month, "Get Unstuck!" is a promotional campaign created by the Kansas Board of Regents to inform those eligible for enrollment – along with their friends and families, who according to surveys are the best source of motivation for students successfully completing the GED test in Kansas. Free tuition is available for those who are eligible.
Posters and information cards have been distributed to over 150 locations, including Community Colleges, Technical Colleges, Adult Education Centers, KANSASWORKS workforce centers, and Department for Children and Family program offices. Additionally, a series of three fun, encouraging short videos have been produced for placement as Facebook and YouTube ads, as well as across social media networks and on institution websites.
Plus, thanks to support from GED Testing Service, an additional 450 public library and Head Start program locations will also receive posters in an effort to connect with potential students.
"This is the perfect time to get the word out, with the anticipation of New Year's resolutions and visits with friends and family," stated Zoe Thompson, Director of Workforce Training & Education. "In as little as four months, a person can receive financial support and go from having no high school diploma to graduating with a GED and meaningful technical certificate. This is an amazing opportunity."
For a complete list of occupations qualifying for tuition-support, enrollment phone numbers, and enrollment deadlines, go online: KansasRegents.org/GetUnstuck
Since January 2012, an initiative called Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas (AO-K) has been specifically helping those without a GED or any college credential to "get unstuck". Available at 14 Kansas colleges, basic skills and career/technical education instructors team teach classes in a career pathway program, with supplemental instruction focused on helping students pass the GED test while working to earn a technical certificate.
During the 2014 legislative session, $500,000 was earmarked as tuition assistance for students enrolled in an Adult Education program affiliated with a college which has an AO-K program, so that these students can also enroll in a career technical education program and have their tuition waived. The community or technical college then reports these students to the Board of Regents office and are provided funds to cover their tuition for technical education courses.
Also providing assistance is the Kansas Department for Children and Families, which has allocated a total of $1.7 million for tuition scholarships to support Kansans enrolled in AO-K career pathway programs who qualify to receive TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families) benefits.
And there's one more piece: The Kansas legislature also created an extra incentive for community and technical colleges to find and enroll these students. An institution can earn $500 for each student who earns a GED while enrolled in a technical education program and $1,000 for each student without a GED or diploma who earns a technical credential, plus funds to cover the cost of the GED test. A total of $1.9 million was appropriated for this incentive.
To view the "Get Unstuck" promotional videos, go online to: KansasRegents.org/GetUnstuck