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Newport's GED Program Ranked as State's Best

The general educational development (GED) program at Newport Independent Schools was ranked best in the state by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Newport program is known as Campbell County Skills U.  

The Newport GED staff was also awarded the Instructional Team of the Year. 

Since all Kentucky adult education is operated under Kentucky Skills U, the only thing different about Campbell County Skills U (CCSU) is the staff, said CCSU Program Director Nichole Braun.  

"Our staff is uniquely talented, creative, and ambitious," Braun said. "These qualities, along with our decades of experience, promote extraordinary opportunities to collaborate and improvise. Working together, and working to get better, is what we do best." 

"We are currently involved in new outreach opportunities to increase recruitment and we are also piloting new educational delivery methods to increase retention," she said. "All of our teachers are also students. We learn from and teach each other just as much as do our students." 

The GED program aims to assist students over the age of 18 who are not currently enrolled in high school. The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet ranks each program on the number of adults enrolled in classes, the number of educational level gains, and the number of GED graduates.  

Newport reached 84% of its enrollment goal, which was best in the state, and it awarded 83% of its GED goal, enough for second-best in Kentucky.

The overall calculation is what put Newport on top.

A similar program operated by Gateway Community & Technical College was ranked tenth in the state out of 27 programs.

In Newport, the program is flexible to cater towards any kind of schedule or situation by offering daytime and evening hours, online or in person. The program has even gone so far as to create an app for a mobiler phone. 

Braun describes CCSU as a resource for students seeking different goals.  

"Yet, whether it’s a GED or a college degree, or even a desire to improve their English, all of our students face immense barriers," she said. "And for some, these barriers feel insurmountable. But with encouragement and perseverance comes accomplishment. Maybe it’s a pay raise, or a new job, or matriculation into college. And when our students achieve that success, sometimes, for the first time, they become exemplary to their children, to their family, friends, and colleagues, and to their community." 

While CCSU is best known for its GED program, CCSU also collaborates with Northern Kentucky University, which allows students to begin college while they are finishing their GED. 

"We work as partners with Brighton Center, Youth Build, Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission and the Campbell County Public Library," Braun said "And many of our students receive generous scholarships that help fund the costs of testing from Kentucky State University, Hollaender Manufacturing, and Levis Company."  

-Staff report