York County School of Technology ending GED prep program

York County School of Technology junior Grace Myers, of Spring Grove, watches a lathe tool post, for her NIMS project Tuesday, March 22, 2015. Amanda J. Cain photo.

The York County School of Technology will no longer offer classes for adults preparing to take GED or high school equivalency exams.

Students in the current program will need to transfer to another when York Tech's current grant expires June 30, according to Mary Godin, the school's communications and outreach coordinator.

The school withdrew its grant application to fund the program for another year after learning of a rule change that made the grant competitive, she said.

The competition itself is not new, but this year there was an added emphasis on "ensuring the programs were meeting enrollment requirements," Nicole Reigelman, communications director for the state Department of Education, stated in an email exchange.

"There were no real program changes," she noted.

Reigelman confirmed York Tech withdrew its application May 23, but "they did not provide a reason," she wrote.

Students studying for a GED or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) at York Tech will need to transfer to another education center.

Those enrolled in the program will be meeting with transition specialists this month, and the school is "working with them closely to make sure the transition is smooth," Godin said.

She said she does not know how many students will be affected by the closure of the GED program because the number fluctuates as students come and go.

The school has been offering the prep classes for 10 years.

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Competitive grant: In previous years, York Tech had applied for the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Division of Adult Education Grant.

According to new guidelines announced earlier this year, applicants must apply for both federal and state funds, which are allocated among 22 local workforce development areas.

The Department of Education issued a bulletin in February that applicants would need to provide "hard data for the immediate preceding three program years" that demonstrates they helped students achieve math, reading, writing or English Language literacy; earn a high school equivalency credential; get a job; retain a job; and enroll in post-secondary education or training. 

Successful applicants must be able to provide a full range of services throughout a program year — including availability in the summer — the new guidelines state.

The state Department of Education scores the applicants, awarding funds to the highest-scoring applicant in each workforce area first, and continuing until the allocated amount for each area is reached or all applicants with a sufficient score are funded.

Statement: York Tech released a statement online June 9 (which was updated June 13) announcing it would be discontinuing its GED preparation program at the Adult Continuing Education Center when its current grant ends on June 30.

The school listed 10 agencies, school districts, universities or intermediate units that offer preparation courses. 

Only two of them — the York County Literacy Council and Lincoln Intermediate Unit No. 12 — serve the county.

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Although it will no longer offer preparation classes, the York County School of Technology will continue to administer the GED test at the school.