Northwest State Community College is enrolling students in a free, online program to help adults earn a high school diploma. Limited spots are available for those who are at least 22 years old in Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert or Williams counties, where nearly 10 percent of adults do not have a high school diploma.
“We never stop looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of people in our community, and people who haven’t yet earned a diploma are a big part of our community,” said Dr. Michael Thomson, president of Northwest State. “The difference in earnings alone is substantial — we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars over a person’s lifetime. We can change that.”
The program has been offered at Northwest State since 2018, and many past graduates are not only first in their families to earn a high school diploma, but have also gone on to become college students, including at Northwest State.
“It’s so heartening to see that,” said Thomson, himself a first-generation college student. “It’s a true testament to the exponential power of educational opportunity.”
To qualify, students need to have completed at least some of the 10th grade, but not have earned a diploma or GED. After enrolling in the program, students will have their high school transcripts evaluated by a re-engagement counselor, who then helps map a course for graduation. At that point, the students are introduced to an academic coach, who will help them stay on pace toward their graduation goal.
“This can be a big challenge,” Thomson said, “but it is not a challenge our students will face alone. If you have a dream, this program offers tremendous support to help you achieve it.”