It is no wonder that local educators have been exploring ways to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking families; close to 30 percent of the population of Hood River County is of Hispanic origin according to the 2010 U.S. Census. In addition, over 28 percent of county residents speak a language other than English in the home.
To better serve people whose first or primary language is Spanish, a new program through Hood River Community Education, will offer preparation for the General Education Development (GED) test in Spanish.
Spanish teacher Gale Arnold will be running the course, which begins April 17 and runs Wednesday nights through June 12. The cost of the class is $25 plus the purchase of a $15 textbook at Waucoma Bookstore.
According to Jean Ewald, GED test administrator for Columbia Gorge Community College, over 100 students are currently enrolled in English as a Second Language classes at CGCC’s Hood River campus, with another 30 enrolled in The Dalles. Many have expressed interest in taking the test.
While many bilingual individuals may already have some proficiency in English, many are more comfortable taking standardized tests in their primary language, notes Daniel Taylor, Jesuit Volunteer Corps member serving at CGCC in Hood River. Taylor has been instrumental in organizing the new course.
The decision to offer the exam in Spanish is in response to requests from members of the community, including prospective college students, noted Taylor.
The GED requires students to demonstrate proficiency in writing, social studies, science, literature and math.
Pre-registration for the class is available online at hrcommunityed.org (search for language classes for adults) or by phoning HRCE assistant Leti Valle at 541-387-5082, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. In person registration is also available at 1009 Eugene Street.
GED test details:
Eligibility requirements for people who wish to take Spanish language GED tests are the same as those for the English version: A candidate must show a photo ID with a birth date, pay the application fee and be officially withdrawn from high school if under 18 – with a completed release (from compulsory schooling) form signed by a parent or guardian.
The cost for taking the GED test, in English or Spanish, is $100 – which covers five individual test components. This may be paid in one payment or divided between a $35 pre- payment plus $13 per test.
Ewald is the GED test administrator at both CGGG Hood River and The Dalles campuses. Testing may be scheduled through appointment only by calling 541-506-6041. The tests are offered in Hood River on Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon in The Dalles.