The benefits of GED graduation : a study of Indiana GED graduates

No Thumbnail Available
Stiffler, David C.
Wood, George S., 1930-
Issue Date
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
Other Identifiers

The purposes of this study were to ascertain and categorize the benefits of GED graduation as reported by recent Indiana GED graduates, and to produce a report on these benefits for local adult educators to use in their ongoing counseling and teaching of current and future Indiana adult learners who are preparing to take the GED tests. An additional purpose was to provide demographic data on the population being studied to local, state, and national systems which can benefit from having research data on what types of individuals tend to use TV to prepare for GED tests.Data collection involved the administration of a sixty-five item questionnaire developed for the study, utilizing questionnaire items from three previous studies of GED benefits conducted in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The questionnaire was mailed to 1,172 GED recipients who received their credentials during 1990-91 school year through the GED ON TV Program administered by the LEARN AT HOME Division of the Muncie Community Schools Adult Education Department. Responses were received from 294 respondents to the initial and follow-up mailings, which accounted for an adjusted response rate of 30.3%. The average age of the respondents was 44.6 years. The respondents were 81.6% female and 91.5% Caucasian-American.Analysis of the data was performed utilizing simple descriptive statistics, including frequency distributions and means, to determine demographic characteristics and benefits perceived by the population. Benefits were empirically reduced by factor analysis, utilizing oblique rotation, into smaller groups of factors of benefit.The findings indicated that there were significant benefits, both tangible and intangible, to be attained by successfully passing the GED Test. The tangible benefits were further education, self-improvement, occupational advancement, and GED participation of others. The intangible benefits were empowerment, improved self-image, higher aspirations, and personal satisfaction. Although the findings of this study confirmed many of the findings of previous studies of GED graduates in other geographical areas of the United States, three types of benefits were newly identified: self-improvement, empowerment, and personal satisfaction.