Piedmont Community College continues to offer free courses for students interested in earning a High School Equivalency Diploma. These classes, accessible during the day and in the evening, prepare students to take a high school equivalency exam, which, upon successful completion, leads to earning a High School Equivalency Diploma from the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS).

Beginning this fall, PCC is offering two testing options. In addition to the current, computer-based GED® test, available at both the Person County and Caswell County campuses, the College has added the HiSET® or High School Equivalency Test. The HiSET® is administered as a paper and pencil exam and is available in English and Spanish at the College.

The HiSET® measures a student’s skills and knowledge in five core areas that make up the five HiSET® subtests:
• Language Arts – Reading
• Language Arts – Writing
• Mathematics
• Science
• Social Studies

Students who register to take all five subject tests in NC will pay a package price of $50. Purchasing the subject tests individually will cost $15 per test. The GED® testing fee is currently $80.

Debra Harlow, Adult Basic Skills program dean at PCC, explained why the College is now offering a choice in testing, “Since the 1940’s, GED® testing was the only high school equivalency test option for those who had not completed their high school credential. In 2014, GED® testing increased in price and became computer-based only. When alternative testing options were presented, PCC was interested in a paper-pencil format and a lower cost.”

The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) endorsed three high school equivalency tests effective this year: GED® testing, HiSET®, and TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Skills). All three tests were developed to meet state standards for high school graduates. A student who successfully passes any of the three tests will be issued a high school equivalency diploma from the NCCCS. PCC selected the HiSET® option as it was the only exam offered in the paper-pencil format.

“Whether you want to get a job, pursue a career, or continue your education, earning a high school equivalency credential is more important than ever,” commented Cynthia Worth, High School Equivalency Coordinator at PCC. “Now there is an affordable alternative to the GED® test that offers people more choices. The HiSET® exam from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is recognized as a high school equivalency diploma test in North Carolina and throughout the United States.”

When asked about advantages to HiSET® testing, Worth stated, “Our adult students will have a paper and pencil test option. People have been reluctant to take the computer based GED® test. It requires keyboarding skills and has a time frame assigned for each subject test. Another advantage is the HiSET® is more affordable at $50 as compared to the GED® test fee of $80.”

Funding is available for both exams offered at PCC through the PCC Foundation. Students must apply through the Adult Basic Skills office.

Worth continued her endorsement of HiSET® offering, “If you pass the HiSET® exam, you’ll have the valuable state-issued credential you need to help you look better on your job application, to continue your education, and/or enter job training that helps you with your career goal. Take the first step to getting your high school equivalency diploma – call today!”

To learn more about the HiSET® test, contact the Adult Basic Skills program of Piedmont Community College. In Person County, call 336-322-2155 or email Sylvia.Gault@piedmontcc.edu. In Caswell County, call 336-694-8055 or email Cynthia.Worth@piedmontcc.edu. For more information about the test and how to register, visit http://hiset.ets.org.

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