Klamath Community College is now offering GED courses in Chiloquin
Klamath Community College is now delivering GED instruction to Chiloquin High School using synchronous technology, the same technology KCC uses to beam college credit courses across its rural and remote service areas.
KLAMATH FALLS – Lois’ house sits in the middle of her lot. The lot is shaped like a trapezoid. Except for the house and driveway, her lot is covered with grass. How many square feet of grass are on the lot?
“What is the first thing I am going to do?” asked Joseph Long, an instructor for the Klamath Center for Education and Training (K-CET) at Klamath Community College (KCC).
For a dozen students working to earn a general equivalency diploma (GED), this day’s math lesson includes solving two-step area problems, word problems, and learning the Pythagorean Theorem. In his class, Long explains the concepts to seated students, while also directing the lesson at a large screen mounted on the wall. Although all the students are in the same class and studying the same materials, they are in two locations: Klamath Falls and Chiloquin.
K-CET, the division of KCC that provides GED instruction, began offering night GED courses in Chiloquin in January. Instruction is delivered to Chiloquin High School using synchronous technology, the same technology that KCC uses to beam college credit courses across its rural and remote service areas.
“The delivery is as if the Chiloquin students are in the same room,” Long said.
Demand for delivery
The GED program consists of four subjects: math, science, social studies, and reading and language arts. According to Long, the students must pass a test in each subject to attain a GED. From there, he said, they can enroll at KCC or find jobs that require a GED or high school diploma.
Student Sabrina Garcia, 37, hopes to earn a spot as an electrical apprentice with Crater Lake Electrical. She has only one more test to pass — math — before she earns a GED through KCC.
Garcia, who lives in Chiloquin, said without having classes delivered to the small town about 30 minutes north of Klamath Falls, it would be challenging for her participate in regular classes, especially in winter months.
“If it wasn’t for the GED satellite office being offered in Chiloquin, plain and simple, I would not have been able to pass my tests,” Garcia said. “It’s almost a necessity to have the GED program in Chiloquin because if you don’t have money to get back and forth, there’s no way you can further yourself in life.”
Garcia explained that before KCC offered GED courses in Chiloquin, area residents who wanted to pursue a GED either had to drive 30-plus minutes each way three times a week, or take Quail Trail public transit to Klamath Falls and transfer to Basin Transit Service buses for the final stretch to KCC.
“For students to make it to KCC from Chiloquin on the Quail Trail, it takes two hours there and two hours back,” she said. “If I use my own vehicle, then I would be spending a lot of gas money to go back and forth. Having the class out here, it only takes me five minutes to jump in my car and get to class.”
Twenty-year-old student Paul Watkins is in a similar situation.
“I don’t have time to go into Klamath Falls every day for a class,” Watkins said.
In addition, Quail Trail only runs until 6:40 p.m.
“There’s no way you can rely on public transportation and take an evening class,” said Christina Rubidoux, who facilitates the GED courses being delivered to Chiloquin High School.
Rubidoux said she sees a strong need for daytime GED services in Chiloquin.
“It’s not just 20 year olds. It’s 30, 40, and 50 year olds that live out here and have never earned a diploma,” Rubidoux said. “The evening class is great, but I think we need to expand to the daytime, too. I know a couple people who are definitely interested, but the evening just does not work for them.”
“It’s easier for residents to get a ride in the daytime than the evening,” she added.
Long said students have expressed an interest in having GED courses delivered to the Klamath Tribes Community Center because they cannot use the high school facility during the day.
“I would like to see the Chiloquin program grow, and I think it will because of the enthusiasm the students have,” he said.
Garcia said she knows several people who are interested in attending a daytime class because that’s what best fits their schedules.
“I wish there was a daytime class because I would take it,” Garcia said.
Students who earn a GED have the same access to KCC as students enrolled in credit and non-credit programs. They have access to the college’s Learning Resource Center; they can receive academic advising, and like recent qualifying high school graduates, GED earners can take advantage of Oregon Promise, a state grant that helps to cover tuition costs at any Oregon community college.
“This is an amazing opportunity. I think some students may have never really thought they could earn a GED because it wasn’t an option out here,” Rubidoux said. “Get your GED and then it’s an easy transition to KCC.”
Long said in addition to having access to college services, K-CET does more than just allow people to earn a GED — it opens doors for them.
“K-CET is built into the college — GED students are college students,” Long said. “They are very excited about KCC being there. I tell them they are in college now; they are not in high school.
“There is a realistic potential for success. This program prepares them for the rigor of college credit classes.”
According to Garcia, Long’s insistence that GED students are college students has paid off. She said since starting GED courses in January, her plans for the future are less certain because she is starting to see the possibility of a career that starts with a college education rather than an apprenticeship. She only needs to complete eight more classes to earn an associate degree.
Rubidoux said, like Garcia, the Chiloquin students are highly motivated, and many already have plans to enter a KCC program or a professional training program.
“I just hope that if anyone in Chiloquin needs in a GED they know they can get one, and have fun, while they are learning,” Rubidoux said.
KCC’s GED program is open to any adult who has not finished high school. Call 541-880-2366 for more information.
Klamath Community College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Veteran/ADA institution embracing diversity. We encourage and welcome women, minority, veteran, and disabled candidates.