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Idaho State University College of Technology GED program performing well, boasts high retention rates

October 10, 2011
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Idaho State University College of Technology's newest pilot program is performing well above national averages after receiving a $1.2 million grant earlier this year to start the project.

The Successful Transitions and Retention Track (START) was created through funding made possible by The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Continuous Enrollment Initiative. The START program began accepting students in May, and is already boasting successful student retention numbers that are more than five times the national average.

START focuses on providing social and academic support for GED students who are working on pursuing a higher education. The free program is open to current or past GED students and prepares participants for college through specialized math and English workshops and sessions on budgeting and financial aid. The 15 week pre-college program also provides mental health and career counseling and awards each participant with a $1,500 scholarship upon completion of the first phase. Following the first phase of the START program, each participant will then focus on obtaining their degree.

Vincent Nix, the coordinator of START said, "We are helping students to overcome the obstacles and barriers involved with furthering their education. Many of these students are first generation college students and we actively work to involve their families to help support them."

Nationally only about 16 percent of GED students who attempt college will make it through the first year. The START program at ISU currently has a retention rate of 83 percent and attributes their success to a major focus on building confidence in those who struggle with education. For more information about the START program contact  Nix at 208-282-4359 or go to www.isu.edu/start.

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