Council on Postsecondary Education
KENTUCKIAN RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FROM GED TESTING SERVICE
Dr. B. J. Helton, the GED® Administrator for Kentucky and senior associate for adult education at the Council on Postsecondary Education, recently received the Distinguished Service Award by the GED Testing Service® of the American Council on Education. This is one of the highest awards conferred by the GED Testing Service.
The award honors a GED Administrator who has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the advancement of their state’s GED testing program and has made outstanding national contributions through initiatives that advance support for GED candidates.
“Kentucky Adult Education staff and examiners across Kentucky are well aware of the professionalism Dr. Helton has brought to our GED testing program,” said Sarah Hawker, vice president for Kentucky Adult Education. “It is a great honor to have another nationally recognized leader within the Commonwealth and within our agency.”
Helton received the award on July 17 at the GED Administrator's Conference in Sparks, Nevada. In her six years as GED administrator, Helton has diligently worked to bring all test centers into full compliance with GED regulations, developed an exemplary training program for GED examiners and encouraged improved passing rates. She also developed a new, more efficient process for students to request GED transcripts.
Helton’s work has contributed to a substantial increase in the number of GEDs awarded in Kentucky since the GED Tests changed in 2002. In fiscal year 2007, 10,307 GED’s were awarded, an 11 percent increase over the previous year, with a passing rate of 80 percent. As part of Kentucky’s plan to double the number of college graduates in the state by 2020, the Council on Postsecondary Education set a target to raise the annual number of GED graduates from 9,800 to 15,000 and to increase the college-going rate of GED graduates from 19 percent to 36 percent.
Helton has also contributed to national efforts to increase GED attainment through her service on the national advisory board for the GED Testing Service. While serving on that board, she helped remodel the official examiner’s manual, advocated for students with disabilities and fostered better communication between the state GED testing programs.
Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.