For most of us, back-to-school has always been a time and opportunity to look forward—a time to get excited about what new adventures are ahead for students, parents, and educators; a time to set new goals.

This year has given us a new perspective on what it’s like to learn, teach, and keep a positive outlook during uncertain times.

Despite the challenges it has brought, it has allowed us to slow down, reflect, and adjust to our “new normal.” Even though we don’t yet know exactly what that means, one thing we can be assured of is that our students need us now more than ever!

This pandemic has been a catalyst for change in our day-to-day lives and how we provide instruction and support to our students in and outside the classroom. We are being challenged to consider how we can best advance our students’ knowledge and future skills. This learning curve that we are all experiencing will bring challenges and some successes. At GED Testing Service, we want to ensure that you know we are committed to helping our educators and students figure out what works best for them. This means more access to distant learning tools, professional development resources for remote instruction, and thinking about what we can do to help many of our students struggling to make ends meet while earning their GED.

Our current reality requires us to improve what we offer to help even more students get the credential they need to pursue their education and career goals. We launched the Online Proctored GED test pilot in May, and we are continuing to work with states to update policies and eligibility requirements to get even more students to graduate status. There are also several states offering free or discounted testing options to help students start or finish their GED while eliminating some of the financial burden associated with testing. We hear your concerns, appreciate your feedback, and we are taking action to make the GED test program an attainable gateway to a better future.

In addition to all of this, our passion and drive to fight social injustice continue to be top of mind in all we do. We are making progress on our plan to drive more awareness of our Black, Latino, and Indigenous students. We are investing in partnerships with local and national organizations that align with our mission to provide support and resources to students of color. We are interviewing new GED Board members that will better represent our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. In addition, we are meeting as a GED team to have an open dialogue on how each of us can be a stronger advocate for change within the organization and in our personal lives.

We know that these times are stressful as many of us are trying to manage work, family, classes, and other responsibilities amid a pandemic that impacts every aspect of our lives.

If you or your students are going through a tough time, we ask that you lean on your surrounding GED community and us for support—let us know how we can help you and your students.

Thank you for all you do, and I wish you continued health, safety, and wellness.

Vicki Greene, President of GED Testing Service