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Excelsior College Announces GED Preparation Online
by Susan M. Kryczka, Executive Director, Center for Professional Development
Excelsior College is now offering a GED (General Educational Development) online review course designed to prepare students to sit for the GED exam. The program, called the GED PREP XCELERATOR, offers preparation for all five of the exam’s subject area tests: math, writing, reading, social science, and science. Students can enroll any time and have access to experienced facilitators to assist them in their studies.

Offered through Excelsior’s Center for Professional Development, the program will require students to complete a pretest to gauge their knowledge level at the time of entry into the program. Students will also be asked to commit to three hours per week of study time to ensure adequate preparation for the exam. Those in the program receive targeted content support and, when ready, information about taking the exam in their home state. Successful completion of the program will then give students the option of continuing their education with Excelsior at either the noncredit or credit level.

Why is Excelsior College now offering GED preparation? It is a natural progression. “Excelsior has already removed the barriers of time and place for college students, and now we will offer those seeking a GED a way to access this first rung in the higher educational ladder,” said John Ebersole, Excelsior College president.

Citing statistics that show over one million students do not finish high school each year in the U.S., as well as President Obama’s initiatives to increase high school completion rates, Ebersole reiterated Excelsior’s commitment to assist in the effort to raise the educational attainment of all learners. “It is in our nation’s best interest to help with the high school dropout rate. The economic effect of not earning a high school diploma is staggering. This is a need that cannot go unfulfilled, and Excelsior has the ability to help solve this problem.”

Elizabeth Santiago, Excelsior’s online GED course developer and facilitator, sees online access to GED preparation materials as more than just a good idea. Santiago not only teaches GED preparation classes in Somerville, Massachusetts, but she also earned her high school diploma by passing the GED herself in 1988. She then went on to earn an undergraduate degree from Emerson College in Boston and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. Santiago knows firsthand the opportunities that higher education can provide to those who take the first step in getting their high school equivalency certificate. “When I left high school, I was disappointed in myself and not sure if I would ever go back to school,” she says. Nervous about pursuing a GED, she got up the courage to start studying, did well, and passed the exam. “Earning the GED gave me the confidence to go further in my education. Was it easy? No. I had to work full-time and take college courses part-time, but it didn’t matter to me because I finally believed that I belonged in school.” Santiago uses her own experience when she teaches GED prep courses to inspire others who have dropped out of school and lack the confidence to try again. “If I can do it, I believe strongly that anyone else can. I have yet to be proven wrong.”

For additional information on the GED preparation course, go to or call 888-647-2388, ext. 118211.

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