May 18, 2018
Winchester resident Cassandra Heredia, 33 and mother of three, said one of her biggest regrets was not finishing high school.
She decided to change that. On Friday, May 18, 2018, she received her general education diploma from Mt. San Jacinto College’s Adult Education Program.
“It was something I really wanted to get done from a long time ago,” Heredia said. “I tried multiple times through different opportunities. I picked up packets but never completed them or would get home with material but never worked on it.”
She said her experience at MSJC was different. She enjoyed attending the classes and praised her instructor, Sterling Davenport.
“He really took the time to help his students,” she said. “I am so happy to be finished. My family is proud of me. They have been supportive and it was really more of a personal goal I had for myself.”
MSJC’s Adult Education Program Class of 2018 had the largest number of students to obtain a GED. More than 80 students, ages 18 to 65, are projected to complete their GED this year. More than 25 of those students have transitioned into career certificate or associate degree programs, said Amy Campbell, director of Continuing Education. She said she is not aware of previous ceremonies at the college for students earning their GEDs, so she decided to start the tradition to recognize the students for their hard work.
“Earning a GED is a major achievement for our students, “ Campbell said. “This is a major milestone in each of our graduates’ lives and they deserve this important celebration.”
Students who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency miss out on job opportunities and are not eligible to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). According to an article in EdSource, earnings for those without a high school diploma can be $350,000 less than those with a high school diploma over the course of their work life.
MSJC offers high school equivalency (HSE) courses that prepare students to take the GED. Although GED programs are available online, MSJC is one of few programs in the region that offers the on-ground classes. On-ground classes allow students to have traditional in-class instruction, which means more students are successful at MSJC and completing the program.
The classes are free and are offered at the San Jacinto Campus, Menifee Valley Campus and the Temecula Higher Education Center. MSJC also partners with Perris Adult School and offers classes at the Perris Adult School and Perris High School. For more information, visit www.msjc.edu/AdultEd or call 951-487-3707.
Photos of the ceremony are available now on Flickr.
Cassandra Heredia (right) with GED instructor, Sterling Davenport during the first recognition ceremony at MSJC Menifee Valley Campus.
GED graduates attending the recognition ceremony