A survey of GED graduates and its implications
This study was undertaken to determine the reasons a GED recipient gives for choosing to leave the traditional school setting. A secondary purpose of the study was to determine the job status and satisfaction of the GED recipient, his/her plans for postsecondary schooling or training and his/her immediate plans for the future. Information collected from surveys gave a voice to a portion of the school population who took an alternate path in their educational planning. The survey instrument employed was designed to solicit reasons the respondent gave for dropping out of the regular secondary school setting, as well as the satisfaction level, and plans for the future. The instrument was mailed from each of three GED testing centers with a self addressed stamped return envelope. To maintain confidentiality for the GED graduate, each testing center randomly selected 150 names from their database of 1999 GED graduates. The results of this survey study indicated the following: (a) 24% of respondents named pregnancy as the main reason for dropping out, 20% cited their dislike of school, 10% listed Other as a reason; including too few Carnegie units and poor choices in academic counseling, 8% named teachers as the main reason, 8% listed hardship or need for work as the reason, 7% cited embarrassment of being too far behind, 4% named suspensions, 4% cited a learning disability. (b) It was noted that among the respondents under the age of 26 (both male and female), post secondary education was a motivator while among the respondents over the age of 26, both male and female were principally motivated by job promotions. (c) The trend among all of the respondents was to seek personal satisfaction as a goal of taking the GED battery of tests. (d) The trend among all of the respondents, both under and over the age of 26 was to report that their expectations had been met. (e) Of the respondents under the age of 26, 89% passed the test on the first attempt, while 77% of respondents over the age of 26 passed the test on the first attempt. (f) 56% of respondents under the age of 26 passed the first time after taking a preparatory class, while 57% of respondents over the age of 26 passed the GED the first time after taking a preparatory class. (g) 31% of the respondents under the age of 26, stated their intention to enroll in post secondary education, while 25% of the respondents over the age of 26 stated their intention to enroll in post secondary education. (h) 37% of respondents reported taking and passing the test in a two day test administration rather than a one day session. Recommendations for practice and implications for further research were offered.
Sarah Kyle Eldridge,
"A survey of GED graduates and its implications"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.