Literacy Lubbock

“In the first seven months of using GAIN, they have tested approximately 100 students, and have saved over $9400 in the cost of GED study books alone!”

Student Friendly, Teacher Approved

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school dropouts earn 30% less than those who completed school and are unemployed at a 4.6% greater rate. The disparities become even larger when you compare their earnings and employment rates to those with a post-secondary education.

One way to combat those disparities is through obtaining a GED, but many people who struggled with education as a teen still face the same hurdles as adults. The gaps in their English and math skills make passing the GED tests difficult. This is where Literacy Lubbock in Lubbock, Texas can help.

Literacy Lubbock, a non-profit partner agency of the United Way, provides free English and math classes to adults working towards their GED. In addition, the agency provides a variety of other educational opportunities, including literacy tutoring, English as a second language (ESL) classes, college prep, and assistance for adults with dyslexia.

With an average of 650 students per year, Literacy Lubbock staffs over 100 volunteer instructors for both classroom and private instruction. This allows them to have small class sizes, as well as provide one-on-one tutoring as needed. Students entering the GED program are first tested with the Wonderlic General Assessment of Instructional Needs (GAIN)® basic skills test, which provides the detailed diagnostics needed to quickly place students in the appropriate level classes.

Prior to implementing GAIN, students at Literacy Lubbock were tested during class over multiple days. This long process was discouraging, and many students dropped out before testing was complete. Now, testing is done in a mere 90 minutes during the enrollment process, and both class size and attendance have vastly improved.

“GAIN gives our students a brighter outlook. They feel like they’ve already done the hard part – the test is done; now they can get to work.”

Teachers are also able to get to work much more quickly. The GAIN report is clear and easy to interpret, allowing teachers to pinpoint exactly what each student needs.

“GAIN lets us put students into the classes they need to be in from the start,” states Nyla Wesner, Director of Volunteer Programs at Literacy Lubbock. “We can immediately see where their strengths and weaknesses are. It’s a much speedier process all around.”

This “speedy process” is also easier on the bottom line – an important consideration in today’s economy.

“It’s not just the test itself that’s cheaper. We’re saving money in other ways,” she states. “Without knowing exactly what level the students were at, we were providing books and study materials that may not have been at the right level. GAIN shows us what materials they need right from the start, saving us valuable financial resources.”

In fact, in the first seven months of using GAIN, they have tested approximately 100 students, and have saved over $9400 in the cost of GED study books alone!

Nyla hopes to see more students reaching their goal of getting their GED, and feels GAIN will play a large role in that. “If we can give them hope at the beginning of their journey, a little glimpse into what they CAN do, it makes the end goal easier to attain.”

By switching to GAIN, Literacy Lubbock is helping their students move more quickly towards their goal of a GED, and the resulting benefits in wages and employment rates that having a GED can provide. GAIN truly is better for students, better for teachers, and better for programs!