Army National Guard General Equivalency Diploma Plus Program
What is it?
The Army National Guard (ARNG) General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Plus is a program designed to increase the pass rate of potential ARNG recruits on the GED test. Recruits enlist under the GED Plus program and then complete a GED preparatory course either online, combined online and resident, or online and Alternate State Option. Applicants must have attended school through the ninth grade, score a minimum of 31 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), and passed the GED prior to acceptance into Initial Entry Training.
What has the Army done?
GED Plus was implemented in January 2006. In FY07 the program produced over 3,500 ARNG enlistments. A 70 percent pass rate was achieved in the first three classes (a total of 206 students tested) of FY07. Starting with the fourth class for that fiscal year, the Strength Maintenance Training Center (SMTC) in Little Rock, Arkansas, employed a new strategy aimed at increasing student success and GED pass rates. It established three separate courses, dependent on the student AFQT scores, rather than lumping all students in one generic course. The change, of course, involved major changes in class scheduling and class length. Yet the results were conspicuous: an increase in the overall pass rate to 77 percent in the last three courses of FY07.
The program is currently experiencing a 73 percent success rate. This rate compares favorably with the national GED success rate of approximately 40 percent as reported by U.S. News and World Report.
Course attendance also increased from 1,440 in FY06 to 2,380 for FY07. In September 2007, the ARNG opened a new GED Plus classroom at the SMTC to train additional students in FY08.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The program has 2,840 students scheduled for training in FY08. Class sizes were increased from 80 Soldiers beginning in July 2006 to 120 Soldiers by the fourth Quarter of FY07. The ARNG plans to continue program growth throughout FY08.
Why is this important to the Army?
Non-GED holders constitute a virtually untapped segment of the population for military recruiting. According to the Department of Education, 3.7 million young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 do not hold a high school diploma or GED. This initiative has the potential to produce annually thousands of new ARNG recruits who, owing to policy restrictions, would have previously been ineligible to enlist in the ARNG.