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Adult Basic Education offers GED classes online

Detroit Lakes' Adult Basic Education is helping make getting a GED even more accessible.

The Lincoln Education Center based facility is offering GED-i, or GED online. The program is for those not able to make it into the classroom but still interested in getting his or her GED.

The program works like the classroom GED in the sense that it is free to students, but they will have to pay for the actual test, as they would in the classroom setting.

They will have course areas of reading, science, social studies, math and writing, as the classroom does, but there will also be two optional courses in consumer skills and test-taking skills.

This program is for the highly motivated, though.

Instructor Fran Crowley said students must establish a ninth grade reading level "to even be considered," they must have access to the Internet, and they must sign a contract to be motivated for the program.

"This is not for students who think they can sign up and do this whenever they want," she said.

She said she expects students to do three lessons a week.

After 20 years as a special education teacher with the Lake Park-Audubon School District, Crowley retired in 2006. She saw a newspaper ad for Adult Basic Education needing volunteers and "thought that looked like fun."

She worked with the English as a Second Language program for two years when the GED-i position opened up and she applied.

"It's the perfect opportunity for me," she said of the part-time job.

The GED-i program began in Illinois (where the "i" on the end of the program title comes from).

"There was a need for people who wanted to go get their GED but couldn't come to a regular classroom (setting)," she explained. Those people could include someone with no transportation, or a mother at home with her child, someone who has a work conflict, or someone with a disability, etc.

"Those who couldn't get out before now have an opportunity to do that," she said.

With its success in Illinois, the program has now spread to North Carolina, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota.

Crowley went through a two-day training course to prepare for teaching the GED-i program.

Right now there is a limit on the number of students who can enroll in the online program, but as the program grows, Crowley said she will add more students.

"It's just to get used to it," she said. "We're starting small."

The year-round class will also add students as one finishes up with his or her studies, the next student on the list can begin.

"They don't do anything as a group. It's independent and everyone is on their own," she said.

"They've worked really hard to perfect it," she said of the online program. "I think it's worthwhile for anyone wanting to get their GED."

If interested in earning a GED online through the GED-i program, contact the Detroit Lakes Adult Basic Education at 218-847-4418.