The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) celebrated its first graduates of the Career Plus High School Equivalency (HSE) program, a new alternative to the GED® test. The first graduates of the program include Clifford Thomas and Sarah Gray from Albany Technical College, and Charles Cash from Athens Technical College. Launched as a pilot in 2020, the Career Plus HSE allows students to combine previously earned credits from high school, completed portions of the GED® test or HiSET® exam, and technical college credit to earn a high school equivalency credential from a participating adult education provider.
Career Plus HSE is designed to provide students with the flexibility to fill in any gaps from previous high school or adult education classes with technical college courses designed specifically for the program. It also offers an innovative path to obtain tuition-free skills training in high-demand career fields, providing more opportunities to earn higher salaries.
“We are excited for these first graduates of this innovative high school equivalency program,” said TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier. “Adult education is vital to the workforce in Georgia and the Career Plus HSE program puts students on a path to earning a postsecondary credential that is truly valued in the marketplace.”
In addition to earning the high school equivalency, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Gray, and Mr. Cash earned postsecondary credentials in some of Georgia’s most high-demand occupations. Thomas earned technical certificates of credit in Diesel Engine Technician and Diesel Truck Maintenance; Gray earned a diploma in Early Childhood Education; and Cash completed Commercial Truck Driving and Gas Metal Arc Welding.
“Because of COVID-19, I lost my job and my wife encouraged me to go back to school to earn my high school equivalency,” said Clifford Thomas of Albany Technical College. “I want to do better for myself, my family, and be a role model for my two sons.”
“Career Plus HSE is an exciting new program for out-of-school youth and adults without a high school diploma to earn a state-issued high school equivalency credential in Georgia,” said TCSG Assistant Commissioner of Adult Education, Dr. Cayanna Good. “By providing adults with more options to earn their high school equivalency, we are helping more Georgians realize their full potential through education and skills training. Congratulations to these first graduates!”
Five of Georgia’s technical colleges are participating in the Career Plus HSE pilot—Albany Technical College, Athens Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Columbus Technical College, and Savannah Technical College. Financial Aid is available to assist students with college classes and tuition may be free for those enrolled in a high-demand career program.