A young father finishes his GED while the mother is in labor. Dakota Absher and Jordan Cartwright realized that their new baby's birth certificate would indicate the parent’s education level.  Both parents wanted to be graduates for their little girl. With only a week before the due date, Absher attended an Express Orientation at Haywood Community College.  He had attempted to get his GED earlier in life, but was always sidetracked.  With this looming deadline, he committed to do what was best for his family. 

After completing the necessary paperwork, Chief GED examiner, Rachel Clark, reviewed his assessment and asked him to practice test immediately.  He proceeded to complete and pass all five of the practice exams.  Clark scheduled him to do the official exams the following day. 

After a doctor's visit, the young couple returned to HCC. Cartwright was made comfortable in the study while Absher started testing.  As the day progressed, Clark noticed the mother was uncomfortable. She was having contractions. With the encouragement of his wife, the nervous father continued through the testing process. The staff at HCC kept a close eye on the mother and the young father checked in regularly after each test. 

By the end of the day, he had completed all of his tests with honors. They went to have a beautiful 9 lb., 9 oz. baby girl. When completing the form for the birth certificate, Absher was proud to check that both parents were indeed graduates. In the first few weeks of their little girl's life, her daddy went from a drop-out, to a graduate, to a college student.  Absher is now enrolled at HCC in Computer Information Technology and Networking Technology. He said, “I want to be a positive influence on my little girl.”  He adamantly supports education and stated that “Cortana will be a college graduate someday.”  With Absher as a father, that certainly appears to be the case.

Many people are feeling the pressure to complete their GEDs.  Whether the need is to keep a job, get a job, or reach a personal goal, there is a huge effort at the Adult Education Department at HCC to help all those wanting to finish before the national looming deadline arrives at the end of this year.  After the GED test changes, the cost will be higher, but most importantly, those that have taken tests, but not completed, will lose them at the start of the New Year.

 "Time is running out to complete before this series expires, but we are working very hard to provide everyone with as many opportunities as possible before the new test begins," says Patricia Smith, Coordinator of Adult Education. “Depending upon placement scores, students can often finish very quickly.” 

GED classes and materials are free.  There is a $35 fee for the GED exam, but the HCC Foundation has made scholarships available to those in need. 

If you would like more information about the new test or how to get your GED, please call 828-565-4182 or email, kvteague@haywood.edu.