Helping students earn GED rewarding for instructor | People
J.D. Kessinger achieved a feat of life-changing importance when he passed his GED exam in late March. He also became the 100th student to earn a GED with the help of Matt Harper.
As director of the STEP program located on the Owensboro Campus of Daymar College, Harper provides assessments, one-on-one tutoring and plenty of moral support for individuals who are seeking their GEDs. The free service draws adults of varying ages and skill levels. The STEP program is funded and administered by Daymar’s Owensboro Campus. Individuals who don’t have financial resources to pay the GED exam fee on their own may apply for scholarships through The Daymar Foundation.
Previous graduates of the STEP program say Harper has helped them gain confidence in their abilities and a whole new set of options for the future. “I used to be afraid to apply for a job,” said Regina Frazier. “Now I feel that I can do more than just stay in one position. Earning my GED has made a huge difference in my life.”
Many STEP graduates say that Harper’s encouragement, teaching style and knowledge were instrumental in helping them succeed. “Matt always had ways to show you how to figure things out. He made things so much easier. Once he knew the level where you needed to start, we started from there,” said Sarah Powers.
After more than four years of helping individuals earn their GEDs, Harper declares that he has the best job in the world. “After awhile you can predict how the conversation will go when they learn they’ve passed the exam,” he said. “If you put the conversation on speakerphone, everybody in the room would be crying. I get choked up when I hear their reactions. Most of my students are in their 30s, 40s or 50s. They never thought it was possible to earn a GED. It’s my goal to help them see that they can do it.
The STEP program was launched in 2003. Since then, 263 individuals have earned their GEDs through the program. Individuals who need financial assistance are encouraged to apply for a Paddy Miller Scholarship, which covers the testing fee students are required to pay before taking the exam.
Persons interested in entering the STEP program should contact Matt Harper at 270-926-4040, Ext. 17116. Those who wish to apply for a Paddy Miller Scholarship should visit www.daymarfoundation.org/scholarships to obtain an application and further instructions.