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Students Receive Diploma Taking HiSet Exam

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Students Graduating at Galloz Theater / Photo By: Shannon Bowers

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Since the General Education Diploma test was discontinuedin Missouri as of January 1st, most of these students received their diploma taking the HiSet exam, an alternative to the GED.

Barbara Melton has been working for eight years to receive her degree, and is familiar with both the GED curriculum as well as the HiSet. From what she can tell, there is not much of a difference.

"It was just, ya know, you went from paper to computers," said Melton.

The HiSet exam, also referred to as the HSE, allows students to take the test one subject at a time digitally. Those subjects include math, reading comprehension, science, writing, and social studies. Students are then able to receive their scores immediately after taking the test.

Colton Raider took his HiSet exam over the course of four weeks. Raider says the opportunity to take the exam over a long period of time fit his busy schedule, and is thankful to be able to continue his education.

"It's a great thing stepping forward in my life and now I am getting ready to go to college at OTC for a two year degree in diesel mechanics now that I have this degree, "said Raider.

Callee Webb is the lead instructor at the Graff Hall Adult Education and Literacy Program. Whether it’s the GED or HiSet, Webb says the tests are a challenge to students.

"I would not want to take either one of those tests. They have to know all five subject areas and pass them all and sometimes it's easier to sit in high school, do the minimum and get a high school diploma; but you can't do that with this," said Webb.

Webb says she’s always thrilled to come to graduation, an event that is proof to the challenges these students have overcome.

Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education selected the HSE test because they wanted to make sure Missouri's standardized education test matched what is currently being taught in high schools and focused on computer based skills, while also keeping test costs at a minimum.

For KSMU News, I'm Shannon Bowers.