Adults Fight To Save Your HS Program at WCTC

Aug. 6, 2009

The adults in our communities need your help NOW! Why? NO ADULT LEFT BEHIND! is about to happen at WCTC.

WCTC administrators want to drop a high school diploma option that results in adults earning a genuine high school diploma by documenting their work experience and their life experiences. This program is the National External Diploma Program (NEDP). If this program is dropped, adults from this community will lose their ability to enter the military for the Armed Forces recruiters will only accept candidates with the actual HS diploma. Also adults who left high school and need more than two credits to complete their diploma work will no longer have a chance to earn a genuine HS diploma.

I taught almost 28 years at WCTC primarily as an Adult Basic Education instructor and I served as Lead Instructor at the Menomonee Falls Campus. In the spring of 1994, I submitted my Masters Thesis on the history of this program and thus have a great deal of knowledge on why the NEDP was initiated, the history of its graduates, and why this unique program is a necessity among the HS diploma options offered by WCTC. Now I am an active community activist for WCTC and its great programs as well as a taxpayer in the district.

An article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 27, 2009 entitled: "Diploma option being cut", WCTC spokeswoman, Anne Moore, says that there are other options for adult to earn a HS credential and that NEDP can be cut. None of these other options offer the adults who left school needing a semester’s worth of credits or more the chance to earn an actual diploma. It is true, that WCTC has three other very good options to meet some adults credentialing needs. One option is for an adult who needs less than two credits, the Adult High School program (AHS) works and the adult gets their actual HS diploma from their former HS. A second option is the GED/HSED a state document in place for the adult who feels comfortable taking five timed tests and other requirements and earning an equivalency credential. A third choice is for adults with documented learning disabilities can get their equivalency credential through the 5.09 GED. The fourth option is the NEDP.

WCTC says it can save money by dropping the program the fourth option – the NEDP. Adults enrolled in NEDP don’t have severe learning disabilities so the 5.09 GED is not an option, are lacking more than two HS credits and cannot do the AHS program, and don’t want a state GED/HSED. These adults want a genuine HS diploma that gives them credit for work experience and life experience. The greater cost is that adults lose the opportunity to get the genuine HS credential required for military service or the adult no longer will have the opportunity to earn a genuine HS diploma which is extremely important to them and they are lacking a great deal of credits to take advantage of the Adult High School program.

Now 31 years later and over 2100 graduates, the school wants to pull the plug on the NEDP. Why? WCTC says it can save money by dropping the program. The greater cost is that adults lose the opportunity to get the genuine credential for military service or because a genuine HS diploma is extremely important to them.

Contact WCTC and ask WCTC to maintain your visionary lead and ensure that adults have the choice to earn genuine HS credential! NO ADULT LEFT BEHIND! Refer your comments to: Dr. Barbara Prindiville, Office of the President, 800 West Main Street, Pewaukee, WI 53072; phone 262-695-5566.

There was a hole in the dike for adults needing to earn their high school credential. Visionary members of WCTC in 1978 plugged that hole with the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) – the first technical college in the state to offer this unique option. Adults wanting to serve their country by joining the Armed Forces now had a way to meet the recruitment requirement of having a genuine HS diploma. Other adults chose the NEDP because they liked the idea that they could receive credits for their years of work and life experiences and receive an actual HS diploma program. Eight high schools within Waukesha County issue the genuine HS credential once the adult submits a portfolio demonstrating their work experience and 65 life skills they learned since they left high school.

After completing the NEDP, the adults continued working, found new jobs, got in the job market for the first time, and a large number went on for further education. The majority of those pursuing post-secondary education went on to WCTC for their Associates Degree but others went to four year colleges or universities; such as University of Wisconsin, MSOE, Marquette, and Mount Mary.

Ensure that WCTC maintains its visionary lead and ensure that adults have the choice to earn genuine HS credential! NO ADULT LEFT BEHIND!

Former WCTC Adult Basic Education Lead Instructor Menomonee Falls Campus

Mary-Ellen G. Nelson

Menomonee Falls Resident for over 35 years.


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