Ottawa Goodwill Offers Free GED Program
Ottawa, IL – Those thinking of returning to school to receive their GED in 2023 will have a free opportunity to do so in Ottawa.
Goodwill is bringing its GoodGRADS program to Ottawa, providing free aid to those wishing to obtain their GED. This includes interactive classroom learning with one-on-one lessons, small class sizes and scholarships to cover the cost of the test.
Shana Lovato, the GoodGRADS program manager for Goodwill of Northern Illinois, said the classes take place Monday through Thursday with optional extra tutoring available on Friday. Instruction is based on skill level and reading level. From there, teachers work on building the skills students need to prepare for the GED test.
“The way the process runs is we have students come in and do a reading assessment to see where they’re at because we have all kinds of different learners when they come in here,” Lovato said. “Their reading level could be a little lower where they’ll need more class time.”
Those with a higher reading level may not need as much class time. Lovato said it could take anywhere from a couple of weeks worth of classes to a year. It depends on the person.
Classes have no more than 12 people in them and will be taught by Bill Jankowski.
“We don’t want any barriers,” Lovato said. “We will help students get to class if they need it, whether that’s virtual, with gas cards or using public bus services.”
Lovato said she recommends the program because it can put people on the fast track to get their GED as quickly as possible.
“We’re also willing to work around work schedules and help with any barrier outside of class we can get them through,” Lovato said. “We have a lot of support. We have case management. That’s just some of what we offer. We can help if they’re looking for a different career.”
Goodwill started offering GED classes in 2016. This is the first time these classes have been offered in Ottawa. Classes are structured for adults and will help them prepare for the math, English, science and social studies tests that make up the GED test.
Those interested can sign up by sending an email to GED@goodwillni.org, calling 815-965-3795 or by visiting www.goodwillni.org/educational-programs. The Goodwill store in Ottawa is located at 501 W. Stevenson Rd.