Learning circles for high school equivalency (HSE) preparation

In some libraries there is great demand for high school equivalency test (GED, HiSET, TASC) preparation materials. I am wondering if libraries, or other organizations, are also offering learning circles whose purpose is to help those who are not planning to enroll in an HSE class but who might benefit from a short-term, peer-to-peer supported and facilitated study group using an online course such as GED Academy, HiSet Academy or another online HSE course. If you are planning an HSE learning circle – or already offering one – tell us about it.

David J. Rosen

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Hi, Dr Rosen. I’m so grateful to see this question. We’ve had an overwhelming response to our GED classes for the fall session, and I’m exploring this idea as a way to engage people who will be waitlisted. All of our classes are team-taught by well-trained and supported volunteers, but this requires a lot of commitment, so I’m also exploring if this might be a new role for volunteers who want to engage with students but with less commitment (and possibly a more condensed training process).

Have you heard of any learning circles for GED/HSE? I’d love to know what curriculum they are using. That’s where I’m stuck right now.
Edie Lantz Leppert
Literacy Connects in Tucson, AZ

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Hey Edie,
There have been a number of learning circles centered on GED/HSE, let me reach out to a few people to see about curriculum and we can get back to you – @Qumisha_Goss can you think of anything off the top of your head? We’ve also developed a number of new resources for volunteer facilitators with @Daniel_Hensley in Pittsburgh that might be useful for your program.

Btw, I’m just up the road in Phoenix!


Hello Edie,

There have been a number of learning circles for high school equivalency (HSE) (e.g. GED or HiSET) test prep. For online curricula, have you looked at GED Academy or HiSET Academy published by Essential Education? It is possible that the Tucson Public Library already subscribes to one or both of these, or would be willing to subscribe. If so, then your students who have library cards could access it free. Otherwise, your program would need to purchase subscriptions for them. You might also look at ProLiteracy/New Readers Press GED curriculum resources, e.g. https://shop.gedmarketplace.com/p/NRP-GED-web. Here’s a link to a blog article I wrote that includes some resources from ProLiteracy https://www.proliteracy.org/Blogs/Article/786/Learning-Circles-Funding-Professional-Development-and-Other-Resources

Hope these are helpful.

David Rosen

Hi, Dr. Rosen.
Thank you for your response. The article you linked was very helpful. I have a small team of our volunteer tutors and a few staff people meeting now to explore online curricula together. We’re also trying to experience these sessions ourselves so that we have a better understanding of how to facilitate them best. We’re wondering, also, about student recruitment – how do you message this and set expectations for potential students? How do you explain (or assess??) the amount of self-motivation that is required to persist in a learning circle? I’d love to know more about how programs have defined and measured outcomes for these groups. Any guidance is appreciated!

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