Adult education coordinator urges New Years sign-ups

Deidre Cruse

The Iberville Parish School system is now offering General Education Diploma (GED) classes for those without a high school diplomas at eight sites around the parish, plus the option on on-line lessons.

“It’s a great focus for a New Year’s resolution,” said Janet Tassin, coordinator for adult education in four Westside  parishes, including Iberville and West Baton Rouge.

The classes are free, Tassin said, though it costs $50 to take the GED  test, which once again will be given in Plaquemine.

“We’re trying to make it more convenient to the residents of the parish by holding the GED test here, having more sites here and having a variety of times,” she said.

Those 19 or older who think they have the skills and have no time for classes can sign up just to take the GED test, Tassin said.

“I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who has been out of school for some time,” she said.

Besides offering a variety of times and locations at public schools, technical colleges and other public facilities, the program also offers computer classes.

“We even offer on-line sessions,” Tassin said. “People can do [the work] at home or in the library.

They have to sign up for that – there are only so many virtual seats.”

She said 40 seats are currently available for on-line studies, but the parish can get more if they are needed.

Tassin, whose salary is grant- funded, coordinates adult education for the four-parish “consortium.” She travels among the parishes, but can be reached for more information on her cell phone at (225) 955-8652.

“Governor [Bobby] Jindal is emphasizing a better educated workforce,” she noted. “People can get a GED and go straight into technical college, a crafts program or Baton Rouge Community College. A GED is not required for technical college, but the basic skills are very much the same as required on the test when they enter a technical college.”

In Iberville Parish, GED classes are offered form 8 a.m. to noon Monday to Thursday at the Louisiana Technical College-Westside in Plaquemine. Westside is scheduled to get a new facility soon, and plans are for the new school to be built on the Plaquemine High School campus.

Adult education classes are available at Plaquemine High from 5:30-8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

The Job Corps facility at Carville offers adult education classes to people in the community, in addition to students participating in the job training program, Tassin said. GED classes are offered there from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Also on the Eastside, adult education classes are available from 5-7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays at East Iberville School.

At North Iberville School, the classes are offered from 6-8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Those in the White Castle area can choose classes at 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The sites in West Baton Rouge Parish are:

-- The Louisiana Technical College at Port Allen, with classes from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.., and from noon to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, or from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

-- Port Allen Middle School, 6-8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

-- The West Baton Rouge Parish Library, 5:45-7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Hurricane Gustav slowed the program down at the start of this school year, Tassin said. Classes started here at the technical college and Plaquemine High on September 15, but others have been in operation only about a month.

Those seeking high school diploma equivalents can sign up at any time, however.

When people start making their New Years resolutions and looking for a fresh start, it’s a good time to consider the classes, the coordinator said.