General Information and Guidelines for Starting an Adult GED® Test Preparation Program in New York State
Thank you for your interest in starting a GED® preparation program. The following information will help guide you in developing a program that will benefit the people of your community by preparing them to successfully pass the GED® test and earn a New York State High School Equivalency diploma.
There are several issues that should be considered before beginning a GED ® preparation program:
- What population will be served by your program? If your program plans on serving young people, it is necessary that any student under 19 meet specific age eligibility for GED® testing.
- Does your program intend on charging a fee to the students? If so, you may be bound by guidelines set by the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (BPSS) within SED. It is advisable that you visit the BPSS website: http://www.acces.nysed.gov/bpss/ to determine if your program would need to meet BPSS criteria. If you prefer you may wish to direct any correspondence/questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Not all fee based preparation programs fall under BPSS, but make sure that you know the guidelines before you move ahead in setting up your program.
Currently there are no New York State Education Department (NYSED) requirements for starting GED® preparation programs unless the program is receiving funding from SED or plans to charge a fee for the program. An application is not required to be filed with the SED and no oversight by SED staff is provided to preparation programs that DO NOT receive funding from the SED or charge a fee to operate the program. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) needs to approve agencies that provide GED® test preparation classes ONLY when they apply for and are awarded funds from the NYSED.
There are many programs currently receiving funds from the NYSED to provide GED® instruction and you can find programs in your area by clicking on your county at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/nys_map/countiesprep.html. These agencies applied to an RFP (Request for Proposal - a competitive bidding process) in 2008, and were awarded a contract to provide services for a period of 5 years. There will not be another competitive bidding process until 2013, therefore, if you would like to start a free GED® preparation program you will do so without any oversight or funding from the NYSED.
As you can see from the information on the website mentioned above, there are many funded agencies in New York State that provide GED® preparation, and you may want to contact some of them to see if they can give you tips and advice on how to proceed with developing and establishing your program, remember though, they are under no obligation to do so.
As a general guideline, to set up a GED ® preparation program, you will need to have:
- Classroom space that has adequate ventilation, heating and lighting.
- An experienced teacher familiar with the 5 GED® test subjects (Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics) and the requirements for the GED® (student age eligibility, NYS residency, application process etc.). If you plan to work primarily with adults, then it is preferable to have someone who is experienced in teaching adults.
- Instructional materials are available from a number of sources. The GED Testing Service, that created the GED® test, has stated on their website that they have reviewed and certified selected GED® preparation materials from these organizations: Kentucky Educational Television (KET); Steck-Vaughn and Paxen Learning. They also recommend local bookstores, libraries, and online sites for other helpful resources. The GED Testing Service encourages adults to consult a local testing center for recommendations and to use the method that best fits your schedule and learning style.
- Diagnostic testing materials:
- TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) Test for determining the reading and math grade levels of your potential students – http://www.ctb.com/ctb.com/control/productFamilyViewAction?productFamilyId=608&p=products
- OPT (Official Practice Test) used to judge readiness to take the GED® test - http://www.marketplace.gedtestingservice.com/Official_GED_Practice_Test_GED_Marketplace_s/163.htm ; http://steckvaughnadult.hmhco.com/en/products/default.htm?level2Code=MSIB10020&level3Code+MSIBM31021&level4Code=MSIB2204&plevel1=plevel1=MSIB10020-MSIBM31021
- Familiarity with the GED® testing procedures – see guides available at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/aepp/progres.shtml and http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/manual_guides.html. This material provides an overview of the responsibilities of a GED® teacher and program manager, and has links to the SED GED® Examiner’s Manual and Handbook, so you become familiar with the actual GED® test administration policy and procedures. Students with disabilities may also be eligible for testing accommodations. Please become familiar with the rules and regulations regarding testing accommodations available at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/accommodations.html. You may also wish to have your students practice taking the GED® test by going to the following website – www.GEDPractice.com.
- Please Note: NYSED Commissioner’s Regulations require special documentation for persons 16, 17 and 18 years of age to be eligible to test in New York State. Please refer to: http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/app_process.html for age eligibility regulations.
After a period of instruction your students should show readiness to sit for the GED® test. This readiness is determined by the administration of the OPT (Official Practice Test). NYSED EPE (Employment Preparation Education) funded adult preparation programs may only refer their students to the GED® test when they have scored above 2500 on the OPT.
Non NYSED EPE funded programs can use the minimum passing score on the OPT of 2250 (with a minimum score of 410 in each of the five subject areas) for referral to the GED® test. Our experience shows that the higher the score on the OPT, the higher the probability of passing the test. Once the student has attained at least the minimum score of 2250 on the OPT (or 2500 for EPE funded programs), they can be referred to an official GED® test site. To find a test site in your area, click on your county at: http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/nys_map/counties.html.
ACE/GEDTS (American Council on Education and the GED Testing Service®) created the GED® test that is used nationwide, and they are in the process of redesigning the GED® test for 2014, to better meet the needs of our population for entering postsecondary education and training programs. As a result, the new GED® test will probably require a higher level of academic preparation. You can find information on the redesign of the GED® test at GEDTS® website: http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/new-assessment. You may also be interested in http://www.gedonline.org/.
We trust this information will assist you in starting a GED® preparation class that will benefit the people in your community by providing them the means to achieve their academic goals and pursue a better future.