In launching its new 22+ Adult High School Diploma program, Southern State Community College is aiming to help the more than 700,000 working-age adults in Ohio who haven’t yet graduated from high school.
SSCC will host two information sessions for prospective 22+ program participants from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, and from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, in Room 107 on the college’s central campus, 100 Hobart Drive, Hillsboro.
The tuition-free program provides a flexible and accessible educational opportunity for residents of Adams, Brown, Clinton, Highland and Fayette counties who are 22 or older and have not yet earned a high school diploma or GED.
“The benefits of a diploma are indisputable, yet sometimes an individual’s circumstances change and that diploma becomes a missed opportunity,” said Dr. Nicole Roades, SSCC vice president of academics. “This program provides people the chance to recapture something that will ultimately position them for the benefits of job stability and the potential for advancement, and hopefully put them on a pathway for continued education or skill certification.”
Designed specifically for working adults, the program is administered online and allows participants to start right where they were when they left high school. Learners can work at their own pace, at any time of the day or night, toward the goal of earning a fully accredited diploma bearing the name of the school district in which they reside.
“In support of Ohio’s efforts to be economically competitive by increasing the percentage of working age Ohioans with a post-secondary certificate or degree to 65 percent by 2025, Southern State Community College has teamed up with Graduation Alliance to assist Ohio citizens in the first step in this process, a high school diploma,” said Roades. “Targeted at the more than 700,000 working adults in Ohio who haven’t yet graduated from high school, this 22+ Adult High School Diploma program aims to fill a critical gap in preparing a competitive workforce. “
In addition to the new 22+ program, Southern State offers GED preparation classes through its Adult Opportunity Center. Each program has its own eligibility requirements, but both programs are offered free of charge. Info session attendees will be able to meet with representatives of both departments to determine which program is right for them.
“Southern State’s Adult Opportunity Center has been providing the GED pathway for decades, and the new 22+ program is an important addition,” said Dr. Kevin Boys, SSCC president. “We continually strive to remove barriers and provide additional pathways to higher education within our community.”
The 22+ program is facilitated by Graduation Alliance, which has established similar programs throughout Ohio and which has a long track record of re-engaging learners across the country. The program includes ’round-the-clock support from highly qualified teachers, tutors and personal academic coaches. Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to earn career credentials that will prepare them for in-demand job fields throughout southern Ohio.
“It’s hard to overstate just how life-changing an experience this can be, especially for people who thought they wouldn’t ever again have a chance to earn a high school diploma and participate in a career credentialing program,” said Ron Klausner, Graduation Alliance’s chief executive officer. “Southern State Community College and the people of Ohio should really be commended for making these sorts of new beginnings possible.”
Info session walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs are appreciated. For more information, contact Kim Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-340-7231. Additional information is available at www.sscc.edu/specialized/22plus.shtml or education.ohio.gov/Topics/Testing/Ohio-Options-for-Adult-Diploma/22-Adult-High-School-Diploma-Program.
Submitted by Kris Cross, SSCC director of public relations.