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Arkansas Adult Education celebrates 2023 graduates

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Contact Information:  Stephanie Jackson | The Design Group

501.492.4900 |

Arkansas Adult Education celebrates 2023 graduates

Arkansas ranks fourth in nation for GED® pass rate

Little Rock, Arkansas (June 8, 2023)—The Adult Education Section of the Division of Workforce Services will celebrate graduates from central Arkansas Adult Education Centers during a graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 8 at 6 p.m. at the Pulaski Academy Connor Performing Arts Center, 12601 Hinson Rd, Little Rock, Ark. 72212. Nearly 80 graduates will receive their Arkansas high school diplomas after completing the necessary coursework at Adult Education centers on the campuses of Arkansas Baptist College, Little Rock School District, Pulaski County Special School District, Shorter College, and University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College.

In a letter to graduates, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote, “I’ve always believed that Arkansas’ people are our greatest asset. When our people commit their time and energy to personal improvement, the entire state prospers. I know this graduation will open new opportunities in your own lives, allowing you to achieve more than you could have imagined just a short while ago.”

Overall, 2,514 students passed the GED® in Arkansas for the 2022-2023 school year, leading to a pass rate for Arkansas of 85 percent; the national pass rate is 74 percent. Arkansas Adult Education ranks fourth in the nation for its pass rate among test takers.

“Since increasing access to technology and online programs, our team has created more opportunities for students across the state to achieve the milestone we’ll celebrate Thursday,” said Dr. Charisse Childers, director of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services. “I’m excited to celebrate the graduates who, through determination and perseverance, made education a priority and worked hard to earn their diploma. They deserve this celebration.”

Dr. Trenia Miles, director of the Adult Education Section of Workforce Services, said that adult education programs are critical to Arkansas’ economic success. “According to the American Community Survey, approximately 300,000 Arkansans lack a high school diploma, and many of them are in the workforce struggling to make ends meet. By earning the Arkansas high school diploma, our graduates have not only improved their prospects for a better future, but they also made a significant contribution to the well-being of their community and our state. We applaud those of you who persevered through the pandemic while also working towards your diploma. Your hard work, dedication, and resilience toward completing your educational goals have paid off.”

Mandy Gibson, a 2023 graduate, will speak on behalf of graduates at the ceremony. Gibson was working full-time and caring for her family when she began the journey to earn her Arkansas high school diploma. She enrolled in evening classes at the University of Arkansas-Cossatot Community College’s Adult Education Center in Ash Down. Throughout the pandemic, she studied from home but relocated to Little Rock. She eventually re-enrolled at Arkansas Baptist College’s adult education program where she was able to complete her course work. She successfully passed the GED® and earned her diploma in January after only four months of enrolling.

Dalton Smith, a Nashville Christian recording artist and the owner of one of the largest tiny home manufacturers in Arkansas, will be the commencement speaker. Smith earned his Arkansas high school diploma in 2013 before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently pursuing a master’s in marketing. Smith resides in Van Buren with his wife, Tiffany, and their daughter Madison.

With 37 Adult Education centers across the state, adults can enroll in free programs by calling 1-877-963-4GED (4433). For more information about the Central Arkansas Adult Education Graduation, contact Stephanie Jackson at 501-492-4900 or

About Arkansas Adult Education

Arkansas Adult Education, a section of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, prepares a job-ready, career-bound workforce to meet the needs of Arkansas employers. Adult Education oversees 37 adult education programs and nine literacy councils, providing services to all 75 counties of the state. For more information about workforce preparation and training opportunities, including locations and contact information for adult education programs around the state, please visit .

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