Nicole Yezik teaches English at St. Gabriel’s Hall in Audubon and guides young men seeking their General Education Development, or GED certificate, to show completion of secondary education.
In an email message, Yezik described the four-month GED study program at St. Gabriel’s, which she said has a 90 percent passing rate compared to the national rate of 70 percent.
“The majority of our GED students haven’t been in school for a very long time. Therefore they have not received credits. These guys are 17, 18, 19 years old with no credits and no chance of going back to a regular school,” she said.
Small class sizes combine with individualized instruction based on meeting the needs of each student.
“We not only teach them the content, but we also teach them how to sit at a computer and take a standardized test,” Yezik said.
“After four months of intense studying, the student picks the day and subject (in which) they want to test. Being able to choose and then just walk down the hall and take the test lessens the pressure. Most of the time they are in the room without any other testers, unlike public testing places, so they can fully concentrate on their test,” she said.
If the student fails his test he goes back to any of his four teachers and together they review what skills he still needs to improve, plus work to strengthen those skills. “Often, they retake it and pass,” she said.
“This is why we are so successful (and) why our program is perfect for our students,” Yezik said. “We immerse them in everything GED for as long as they need. It’s very much student based, which has proven very successful for our students. Whatever they need to succeed, we do.”