Sunday, January 23, 2011

GED Diploma, College Certificate Part of Same Program

Rio Salado College and Maricopa Workforce Connections have partnered to offer any Maricopa County resident without a high school diploma an educational opportunity called Arizona I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training), which allows them to earn their GED diploma and a Level I Electrical Certificate simultaneously.

Classes are Monday through Friday for three hours a day, and students can choose aftemoon or evening slots. The classes are taught jointly by an Adult Basic Education teacher and a Workforce Development instructor from Tempebased Rio Salado College, and are at the West "Valley Career Center, 1840 N. 95th Ave., Suite 160, Phoenix.

This opportunity is of no cost to students and is available only to residents, at least 16 years old who do not have a high school diploma. Tuition, fees and book costs will be covered through financial aid, "WIA job training and scholarships. The Arizona I-BEST Program integrates instruction for a GED diploma with 12.5 credits of construction: electrical training. Students enrolled in this program will learn skills needed to work in 3ie construction trades that focus on basic electrical fundamentals as well as electrical equipment, blueprints, codes and safety.

Students successfully completing the program will earn a Workforce Development- Construction-Electrical, Level I Certificate from Rio Salado College, plus certificates from the National Center for Construction Education and Research in Core, Introductory Craft Skills and Electrical Level I.

Students will also prepare for and successfully complete the tests for a GED diploma. "Rio Salado's ABE program helps students improve their reading, writing, English and math skills," said Blair Liddicoat, associate dean of Adult Basic Education at Rio Salado College. But with today's high unemployment, it is imperative that high school graduates receive workforce development training. The Arizona I-BEST Program is designed to meet that need by helping students become more self-sufficient, improve job skills and lay the foundation for a better future.

The program will provide hands-on application of learned skills and students will also attend job readiness workshops and receive job-search assistance upon completion of curricula.

For more information about the program and to sign-up for an upcoming new-student orientation, contact Jeff Hall at 480-377-4263 or visit

Source: Arizona Republic (Jan. 2011).

For more information about earning a GED diploma, contact Rio Salado College.