CollegeAmerica in Fort Collins helps make GEDs possible

Posted By Staff Writer on March 6, 2012

CollegeAmerica in Fort Collins helps make GEDs possible -

CollegeAmerica's Fort Collins campus is offering community members a helping hand to earn their GEDs and take hold of a better future. The program, known as the Good Neighbor Initiative, is available at about 20 CollegeAmerica campuses in the western United States and provides free GED test preparation and covers any examination fees. "We saw an opportunity to provide significant help and assistance to our communities," said Eric Juhlin, CEO of CollegeAmerica. "We hope that by providing these services, we're able to increase the educational opportunities of people in our communities. We're also hoping to stimulate a desire for more education and to take advantage of this opportunity and continue on with education so more people are back in the workforce, not unemployed." Christine Shiflett, GED coordinator at the Fort Collins campus, said the program is flexible and works with each student's schedule and testing needs to provide the best opportunities. All test preparation materials, testing fees and any retakes are paid for until the student obtains a GED. Shiflett said it costs about $150 take the full GED, which includes five individual tests but not any needed retakes. "The price is usually an obstacle for people and one of the reasons they put it off," she said. "I hope our program is a good opportunity to take a way a lot of those stresses. You don't have to worry about payment, you don't have to worry about sitting in a class and feeling lost or behind or sitting in a class thinking 'I know this. I shouldn't be here.' This is exactly what you need. No more, no less." Amy Sadowski, 25, of Fort Collins said the Good Neighbor Initiative helps make the mountain of GED test preparation more manageable. "I've definitely learned way more than I learned in the beginning," she said. "It's possible to get your GED, and it's a lot easier to do it with somebody who knows what they're doing and are willing to take the time to show you how." Sadowski said getting her GED will give her a sense of accomplishment as she raises her baby and eventually pursues a career as a veterinary assistant. She is seven months pregnant. "I really want to do this because I know I've worked hard for it," she said. "I want to show my family and my son that even though I didn't go to high school, I still obtained my GED and was motivated to come." For Karla Krauss, 32, of Loveland, the program gives her the opportunity show her three children that she can - and will - succeed in life, even though she never graduated from high school. After obtaining her GED, Krauss wants to continue her education and start a career in the medical field. "I want to show my kids that I can make something of myself, even though I'm as old as I am right now," she said. "I've always wanted to go back to school, and now I'm able to do that."