Program offers chance at diploma

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Single mom Lorena Tarango, 27, is taking steps to provide a better future for her and her children through the General Education Development Preparation lab located in the Roosevelt County Enterprise Center.

For the past three months, Tarango has been working on a series of tests that will prepare her for the general equivalency diploma test (GED), she said. The GED allows persons who didn’t receive a high school diploma the opportunity to receive a degree.

Tarango sees herself attending college in the future, either to obtain a degree in education or nursing.

Since she began attending the GED lab, her kids have begun doing better in school, she said.

“It’s brought us closer together in one way,” Tarango said.

Instructor Linda Long has been overseeing the GED lab for six years.

She said students are given placement tests to determine their reading, math, language and vocabulary skills.

Based on their skills, the lab uses a program called PLATO to instruct students.

“It’s a cool little program,” Long said.

Long also prepares supplemental work students can take home, which them the opportunity to get through the program faster. It is also suitable for those students that may be more comfortable with book work rather than using a computer, Long said.

Long receives referrals to her program from seven agencies in the area, she said.

“It’s available for ages 16 and up, however anyone under 18 has to have a permission slip signed by the superintendent of last school attended and their parents,” Long said.

At a glance:

What: GED Classes
When: Monday through Friday
Time: 8 -11 a.m.
Where: Roosevelt County Enterprise Center
Room B5 (downstairs)
100 S. Ave. A
Information: 356-4720 ext. 17

• The center also offers ESL classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• GED and ESL classes are free.