Published on: June 14, 2010
Lone Star College-Tomball celebrated the accomplishments of 65 students at the annual General Education Development (GED) graduation ceremony, held Thursday June 10, in the college’s Elmer L. Beckendorf Conference Center. The ceremony honored more than 400 students who took the preparation course and passed the GED exam during the past year, marking an important step in their lives.
Meghan Barlow, the keynote speaker, told her story of what lead to her completion of the GED program. Barlow lost her mother to an aggressive form of breast cancer in high school and it took its toll on her education. She left school, got married to her high school sweetheart and now has four children.
Meghan told the class, “We have all taken different paths to bring us to this common point in our lives. We all have the opportunity to fulfill our goals. Whether they are simple or grand. I am not alone in succumbing to fear. I put off taking the test for so many years out of fear of failing. Only now do I realize that even if I had failed at least I would have tried.
She closed with “ Today is the beginning of a new life for all of us. We have accomplished something pretty amazing today. You did this… you passed the test! Go out into the world and make your mark, whatever that is. “
Barlow hopes to obtain a degree in Political Science and eventually a law degree.
Also addressing the graduates was Dr. Paris Ealy, the State Administrator of the Texas GED. Her inspirational stories about graduates she has encountered in the past sent the message to the audience that you are never to “old” to go back to school. She encouraged everyone to continue on in the pursuit of education.
LSC-Tomball has offered GED testing and test preparation for 14 years; however, this is the first year that the college has recognized the hard work of the students through a graduation ceremony.
“Everyone—staff, faculty, and community members—knows what it is like to face challenges along the way, said Sharon Jones, director of continuing education at LSC-Tomball. “The smiles on the faces of the graduates and their families were validation that we do make a difference in the lives of our students every day.”
During the ceremony, four students with outstanding scores on the test were awarded scholarships with hopes to spawn deeper interest in higher education. The four winners, Meghan Barlow, Devyn Sloterdigk-Anderson, James Thompson and Eric Wiley, were each honored with a $500 scholarship to put toward continuing their education at any campus in the Lone Star College System.
“We hope all the students continue on to pursue either a credit or continuing education program that can further their career and improve their life,” said Dr. Christina Hinkson, executive director for continuing education for Lone Star College System. “All of us are excited about the future possibilities of each student and the success that awaits them.”
Dr. Susan Karr, president of LSC-Tomball, presided over the ceremony, and a reception for the graduates and their friends and families immediately followed.
The GED program—first developed to provide returning World War II veterans with an opportunity to earn high school credentials—has served as a bridge to education and employment opportunities for an estimated 15 million since 1942. Today, approximately one in seven high school diplomas issued in the United States each year is a GED diploma.
LSC-Tomball offers both the GED review course and GED test, and students must be 17 years of age or have parent of guardian permission to take either one.
During the GED review class, students use specialized computer software and work independently on the computer with the guidance of an instructor to prepare for the GED test, which includes sections on language arts writing, math, science, social studies, and language arts reading. Traditional classroom instruction is also offered in the GED review classes. The instructor allows the students to progress at their own rate which allows for one-on-one instruction.
The college also offers both the full and partial GED test—both in English and in Spanish.
The GED preparation and testing center is located at Lone Star College-Tomball, 30555 Tomball Parkway, Tomball Texas 77375.
For more information about the college’s GED program, call 281-357-3676.