First Families and Central Mississippi Inc. [CMI] have teamed up to ensure that students who dropped out of school, weren’t able to pass their GED, or were not able to finish high school for other reasons achieve their high school diplomas.
First Families for Mississippi – Greenwood Program Trainer Haley DeNoon said the online high school diploma program is through New Learning Resource School District, which is accredited through AdvancedED and the Mississippi Department of Education.
On Feb. 15, DeNoon will be at CMI to inform those interested in the program. She said officials with CMI reached out to First Families and asked if they would come and set up for two hours and help enroll potential students into their program.
She said there is no set enrollment date, and a student can sign up for the program at any time.
“It’s for anyone 19 or older that didn’t get their diploma,” she said.
To enroll, potential students need to fill out the application, have their ID and a transcript of the last school they attended.
“If they dropped out of school, let’s say in the eighth grade, then they have to take a reading assessment,” DeNoon said.
She said anyone who dropped out 10th grade and below, must take the reading assessment and pass at the ninth grade level before moving forward in the program—that’s the only criteria.
And, the best part, the program is free.
“It’s all free, and it’s all online. They can work at their own pace, and they can do it wherever they have computer access. It’s kind of like an online college class,” she said.
However, DeNoon said the program does hold the student accountable.
“They can’t just say ‘Oh, I’m working on my diploma and not do anything,’” she said. “If a person hasn’t logged into the program in 10 days, the student goes inactive and will have to request a one-time reactivation.”
DeNoon said students in Montgomery and Carroll counties will only have to meet with her to take their proctored test.
“They will be able to come to our office in Greenwood or I can meet with them where it works best for them. I’ve even met with someone at work and proctored a test in between customers,” she said. “It fits their schedule, and it accommodates them. A lot of our students do work, and they have busy schedules.”
She said the program is available throughout the state and is in all 82 counties. DeNoon said students aren’t just on one track to college. If they don’t want to go to college and they want to go straight to the workforce, then there’s a tract that is geared toward that area.
“It’s different for each student,” she said, adding students who are one the career tract can also take a class on gaining employment or entrepreneurship.
After completing the program, DeNoon said a graduation is held in Jackson.
“Graduations are held twice a year, summer and winter, but they don’t have to walk if they don’t want to.”
She said students have to take a minimum of four classes in the program.
“We don’t have state tests, so they don’t have to worry about that; once they complete the program then their able to get their diploma.”
DeNoon said the program is also available in local schools, but its proctored by someone on campus.
She said if anyone has questions, wants to enroll or needs help with something, she comes to the Montgomery County Department of Human Services the first three Tuesdays of the month.
“I try to come there at least once a week to enroll people or to see if they need help with anything or to proctor a test,” she said.
DeNoon said getting into the program is the easy part. The rest is on the student.
“They have to want to do it for themselves. It’s an easy program to get into, but they have to have the drive to complete the program. It (the program) holds them accountable. They have to be working on something.”
DeNoon said if anyone is interested in the program or wants to enroll, call First Families of Mississippi at 662-451-5397.