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  • Lani Hansen

UKB taking names for new GED program

Updated: Aug 27, 2018



TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is now taking a limited number of names for pre-enrollment in its new General Equivalency Diploma program set to launch this September.

“I’m very excited about this program,” said Della Wolfe, education intake specialist. “Us doing this program, which is free to all exclusive UKB citizens, is an opportunity for our people. They’ll be able to get jobs after they get their diploma because almost everywhere you apply, it always asks if you graduated.”

The program was approved by Tribal Council in 2017 and is made possible through a grant and partnership with the Adult Education program at Tahlequah Public Schools.

“I think basic empowerment to the Keetoowah people is a great opportunity,” said Natalie Cloud, TPS Adult Basic Education director. “We want them to move on, whether that’s at votech or a career or just college. It’s not just get your GED. It’s a bridge program. Career development is a big component of this grant.”

Students will be required to take Tests of Adult Basic Education to determine a knowledge baseline before beginning studies.

“TABE is like your pre-assessment,” said Cloud. “It’ll be online or paper and then for the final GED exam, Della has said that the Keetoowahs have money for citizens to take that test.”

Once a baseline is established, students will work with Charlotte Wood, UKB’s new part-time GED instructor.

“We just dig in and work,” said Wood. “We don’t want to waste time learning something they already know. We’re going to meet the student where they are. A lot of people think, ‘I can’t get my GED because I was never good at math,’ or ‘I can’t read that well so there’s no way.’ You might have to work harder, but if you’re determined, come down here.”

Tahlequah Public Schools Adult Basic Education Director Natalie Cloud, left, and new GED Instructor Charlotte Wood, met with UKB administration leaders on July 27 to discuss the program. BRITTNEY BENNETT/GCN

The self-paced program will also assist students that may be wary of technology and allow them to work at their convenience.

“If someone is just not techy, don’t let that stop you because we will get you going,” said Wood. “Once we enroll you, if they live in Jay, they can work at the Jay Public Library or Stilwell or even further and periodically they make the journey to come see me in person. It’s not taking away the opportunity for somebody who doesn’t live right here in Tahlequah.”

The length of the program will vary based upon the student.

“It’s how hard you’re willing to work and how much time you’re going to put in,” said Wood. “Keetoowah members are ready to take the test by the end. We’re going to make sure you can go up there and knock it out of the park.”

Those interested must be at least 18 years old, or 16 years old with parental consent. For more information and class times, contact the UKB Education Department at 918-871-2796.



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