Test Center Spotlight: Wood County Vo-Tech Center in Parkersburg, WV

March 29, 2016 Jennifer Brandt

Test Center Spotlight: Wood County Vo-Tech Center in Parkersburg, WV 

Studying for the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ is no small undertaking. Every TASC testing center across the country knows this, and they are working hard to add value and support to every TASC test taker’s journey to achieving a high school equivalency.

Today we’re placing the test center spotlight on West Virginia’s Wood County Vo-Tech Center as Bruce Goody, TASC Test Coordinator; Greg Boso, TASC Test Examiner; Cathy Kingston, TASC Test Examiner; Linda McClead, Adult Education Program Coordinator; and Katrina Reed, Adult Ed. Teacher & Peer Trainer, discuss the center’s process and experience with the TASC test:

  1. When did the Wood County Vo-Tech Center start offering the TASC test?

The Wood County Vo-Tech Center began administering the TASC test in March of 2014.

  1. What successes have you seen as a result of offering the TASC test?

Since the Wood County Vo-Tech Center began offering the TASC test in March 2014, 324 students have taken the TASC test. TASC test successes include:

  • A 94% pass rate
  • A user-friendly approach for our clientele
  • Promotion of personal pride / self-satisfaction
  • Earned high school equivalencies
  • Jobs / Improved quality of life
  • Continued post-secondary education
  • Scholarships
  1. How is the TASC test administered at the Wood County Vo-Tech Center?

Both computer-based and paper-based tests are available to our students in English and Spanish formats.

Computer-based tests are the choice of a majority of our students (based on age and familiarity with technology devices). The students with attention/concentration issues appear to be more focused and stay on task when using the computer. Computer-based testing also provides the advantage of same day scoring results in all subjects except Writing (due to the essay portion).

Paper-based tests are a significant option for those testers suffering from anxiety related “computer phobia” and a lack of keyboarding skills and experience.

We have a number of students who utilize both formats. They may take Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Math on the computer and opt to take Writing (because of the essay), and occasionally Math, in the paper/pencil format.

  1. How does the Wood County Vo-Tech Center help test takers prepare for the TASC test?

Pre-testing using the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE®), instructional preparatory classes, and the TASC Test Readiness Assessment are provided by the county Adult Education Program. TASC test preparation classes are also provided at SPOKES Programs located in our local Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA).

Day and evening classes are available to accommodate students from August through June. Readiness testing is provided weekly all year long.

Online student registration is completed with the Adult Education instructor after successful completion of the TASC Test Readiness Assessment. Scheduling of subject tests and testing dates are done with the test examiner and/or test coordinator. Testing sessions are offered one Saturday and two weekday evenings per month, 12 months per year.

  1. What do you feel is the purpose and benefit in using TABE and the TASC test together?

We feel that using TABE and the TASC test together is beneficial because TABE provides the instructor with the student's current academic level, and the Readiness Assessment provides a qualifying score to enable the student to take the official TASC test.

  1. What are you most passionate about with the Wood County Vo-Tech Center?

We are most passionate about providing students with an accommodating, stress-free, and encouraging atmosphere for testing. Our goal is to boost the self-concept of our students and assist them in becoming contributing members of society. While empathizing with their earlier struggles, we foster future success.

  1. Any additional comments, insights, or comments of inspiration you’d like to add as it pertains to aspiring HSE candidates with the TASC test?

We are most inspired and rewarded by the screams, hugs, happy dances, and tears of students when they experience success. The depth of their caring, their understanding of the value of a high school equivalency, and their relief at achieving their goal causes their emotions to explode.

A graduation ceremony, complete with cap and gown, attended by students, friends, parents, siblings, and in many cases their own children, is the final TASC test event. It is especially rewarding when mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives are recognized in the same ceremony. Members of the Board of Education and the school administration have commented that it is the best of the four graduation ceremonies they attend each spring in our county.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg reserves a number of scholarships especially for TASC test graduates. In the past, as many as 18 scholarships per year have been awarded. In the last few years, all students who have attended the graduation ceremony are also provided with a certificate for one free class (books and tuition) from West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

We are most fortunate in West Virginia to have the strong support of the WV State Department of Education and the WV State Legislature, which provides full funding for test preparation classes, readiness testing, and the administration of the TASC test.

Interested to learn more about the TASC Test Readiness Assessment?

By completing the Readiness Assessment, examinees receive a score in the form of a percentage that indicates the likelihood of passing the TASC test. In addition, the Readiness Assessment provides feedback on areas of weakness, allowing examinees to focus their efforts as they prepare for the test.

The Readiness Assessment is available in English and Spanish, and in both paper-and-pencil and computer-based formats.

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