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Students getting ready to graduate with high school diplomas

Around 15 people will finally obtain their high school diplomas from the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center.

There will be a ceremony for HSED – high school education diploma — graduates, complete with “Pomp and Circumstance” at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Orpheum Theater. The event is open to the public. Following the graduation, a reception will be held and Patty Mendoza, the director of adult literacy for Iowa Valley Continuing Education, said the more people from the public that com the better.

“The state likes us to make a big deal out of graduation,” she said. “There is a lot of happiness and excitement. They are very proud of themselves. Some of them did not feel they had the skills to do what they just did. So when they found out they could, they were proud.”

Mendoza said the feat that the graduates have accomplished is not an easy one.

“The test is harder than it was when it was just GED,” she said. “There are no many other requirements. You have to be prepared and ready to take the test. The math is what people really get stuck on — geometry, algebra, the pythagorean theorem — these are very difficult to learn.”

Not every one of the graduates will be at the graduation either. Mendoza said it is up to each student whether or not he or she wants to participate. However now that the students will get their high school diplomas, more doors will open for them.

“There are going to be more opportunities for them,” Mendoza said. “Some will get better jobs or pay raises. Some will move on to a trade or technical school. We have had some go to college.”

Iowa Valley Continuing Education HSED classes last for eight weeks. Mendoza said subjects covered are math, writing, reading, social studies and science. Earning the degree is more than just taking home a study guide and then taking a test. There is also an attendance policy attached that Mendoza said they try to stick with.

Many times, people who start the class are unable to finish because of work or family issues, but they are encouraged to try again as classes run year-round at varying days and times in four locations:

• The Education & Training Center, 206 E. Church St., Marshalltown

• Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell, 123 Sixth Ave. W.

• Ellsworth Community College Campus, 1100 College Avenue, Iowa Falls

• Iowa Valley Tama County Education Center, 215 W. Ninth St., Tama.

The HSED fee is $50 and all testing is done on a computer.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at

641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com