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U.S. Army to End GED Program for Recruits

The U.S. Army is terminating a program that helped some 3,000 recruits who dropped out of high school earn a GED, according to an Associated Press story.


The military service's pilot program to help recruits obtain a General Educational Development credential began in the summer of 2008, when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan left the Army "scrambling to find soldiers," the story explains. "But since then, with the economy in a downward spiral and jobs hard to come by, more people with diplomas have been enlisting."

The program, dubbed the Army Preparatory School, has been housed at Fort Jackson, the Army's largest training base, in Columbia, S.C.

In 2008, 82.8 percent of people who enlisted for active duty were high school graduates. That number jumped to 94.6 percent in 2009, the story says.

"We're a victim of our own recruiting success," said Col. Kevin Shwedo, deputy commander at Fort Jackson.

Along with the other branches of the military, the Army's minimum education goal is that 90 percent of enlistees will have a high school diploma, allowing up to the remaining 10 percent to have a GED instead.

For a great take-out on the Army's GED program, check out this EdWeek feature story from 2008. Also, check out this terrific photo gallery (with audio) that accompanied the story.

Photo Credit: Army Private Edurado Arceo studies for his GED certificate in 2008 at Fort Jackson, S.C. Mary Ann Chastain/AP-File

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