Rhonda McNatt

Q: Please introduce yourself, what’s your title, and what you do at OCCC?

A: My name is Rhonda McNatt, and I am the adult education and literacy instructor at OCCC. My primary function is to help adults achieve their high school equivalency.

Q:  Tell us about the Adult Education and Literacy curriculum and programs at OCCC?

A: Well, our high school equivalency program is taught based on the HiSET test. So, the students are required to study five different subjects and five different subsets in order, to pass all of them which would equal their high school equivalency. They study reading, writing, social studies, math, and science. And I provide curriculum for each of those subjects and teach them individually to the students. I’m constantly jumping around from subject to subject and different points in those curriculum-built programs, depending on what the student’s needs are at the time. We also have a wide range of resources, in order to help teach the students. My philosophy is there’s not just one way to learn, and there’s definitely not one way to teach. So, I find out the way student learns the best, and then that’s the material that I go with.

Q:  How has the Adult Education and Literacy program faired during the COVID pandemic?

A: The COVID pandemic certainly gave us challenges, but we were able to overcome and continue working remotely and virtually, in order to help them to continue studying for their tests in order to achieve their high school equivalency. It was very challenging for us to continue the curriculum for a group of students when it’s very hard to get two or three together at the same time. Because each student is studying different subjects at any given time, and there at different levels. So, group study was very difficult, but we were able to overcome it through zoom sessions, and I was also a to do individual’s tutoring through zoom as well. The testing centers once they started opening, they could go ahead and set up their tests. The numbers they allowed in this testing center, was of course limited, but we were still able to get those testing dates and it really did not impede us from being able to have completers of the program, it just slowed us down a little bit.

Q:  Describe what success in the Adult Education and Literacy program looks like?

A: Success in the Adult Ed. and Literacy program is ultimately earning a high school equivalency or your diploma. So, our program is geared towards preparing students to take the HiSET test. So, the HiSET test it’s a brand name of the test, it’s one of the three tests that the state of Oklahoma will recognize as being approved for achieving your high school equivalency. So, a lot of students like to say they’ve achieved their diploma. And yes, they do get a diploma but, it is the equivalent of a high school diploma. [Inaudible noise,] it’s the same thing. Once a student has passed all five sections, the HiSET test, then they have completed the high school equivalency program. And our school, OCCC offers a graduation as well. So, they get caps and gowns, and they get to walk the stage and have the graduation that they didn’t get in high school. So really, they don’t miss out on anything.

Q: What else can you share about Adult Education and Literacy, that we haven’t discussed?

A: Another topic that I would like to clear up. It’s a little bit of a misnomer a lot of people will ask, “Do you have your GED?” Or on job applications, it’ll ask if you have a high school diploma or GED.  And I’d like to just clear the air a little bit, that GED, is the brand name of a test. It is not necessarily a separate program. It is the brand name of the test, just like HiSET and TASK. So, we prepare our students to take the HiSET test. The state of Oklahoma recognizes three different tests, that will allow you to achieve your high school equivalency. So, GED is one test set, HiSET is a second test, TASK is the third test. So really, it’s inaccurate, on job applications or any type of application when they ask if you have a GED, because it does not mean general education diploma. A lot of people used to think that and, and that’s really not what it means. That’s the brand name of the test. So, it really should read, or people should say or ask, “Do you have your high school diploma or high school equivalency.”

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