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Migrant family students earn GEDs

Click to enlarge Migrant family students earn GEDs

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Nine students from migrant worker families in Chatham County have earned their General Educational ... (more)

02.08.2013College & CommunityGraduationsStudents/Graduates

SILER CITY - Nine students from Chatham Latino migrant and seasonal farm worker families have earned their General Educational Development diplomas at Central Carolina Community College, thanks to a partnership between CCCC's College and Career Readiness Department and Wake Technical Community College.

The students enrolled in Wake Tech's High School Equivalency Program (HEP) offered at the CCCC's Siler City Center. HEP provides instruction and support for students from migrant and seasonal agricultural worker families to obtain their GEDs. Many employers and higher education institutions recognize the GED as the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The students started in the fall of 2012 and successfully passed all five GED tests. Their achievement was celebrated at the college's Jan. 30 Adult High School/GED Graduation at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, in Sanford.

"It was an honor to have attended the graduation, witnessing the results of the students' hard work," said Maria Lafuente Fister, Wake Tech's HEP coordinator. "We are looking forward to another successful semester while continuing to work together and serve the migrant community in Chatham County."

The program is open to students, age 16 or older, who have officially withdrawn from high school and who have been agricultural workers or are family members of someone who worked in agriculture in the United States at least 75 days in the past 24 months. Students are also eligible if they have attended a public school in the United States and received migrant educational services while enrolled or participated in a Workforce Investment Act farm worker program.

The High School Equivalency Program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to Wake Tech. It offers free classes, textbooks, and pays the GED test fees. It also provides support services such as health care, financial aid stipends, counseling, job placement, and cultural programs for participants.

"This cooperative effort between CCCC and Wake Tech allows more students to work towards earning their GED," said Sara Lambert, CCCC College and Career Readiness coordinator at the Siler City Center. "The cost of testing has been an obstacle for students in the past. Because the program is supported by a federal grant, it allows qualified students to participate and complete all testing without incurring any out-of-pocket cost."

For more information about the High School Equivalency Program, call 919-461-8408.