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Earning a general education diploma is right around the corner for many Clay County residents, some of whom simply need to complete the math portion of the GED program before taking the examination.
Since so many residents of West Point only lack the math portion of the GED Program, East Mississippi Community College-West Point campus is holding a two-week accelerated math class just for these students.
Jim Bearden, Director of Adult Education for EMCC, said the class is average 12 students per day, which he says is a really good amount, and thatâ€™s 12 more residents of Clay County who are on their way to receiving a diploma. The first week of the class is winding down, but thereâ€™s one more week to go before test time.
â€śWeâ€™ve had a wonderful week,â€ť Bearden said. â€śTheyâ€™ve done an outstanding job.â€ť
Clay County resident Annie Barnes is participating in the accelerated math course and hopes to have her GED in hand soon just like her daughter, who recently received her GED from EMCC-West Point. Barnes said sheâ€™s sticking confidently with the class until the very end.
â€śRight now itâ€™s overwhelming, and Iâ€™m very excited about learning everyday,â€ť Barnes said. â€śEveryday I come out here Iâ€™m excited, and I want to learn as much as I can. Right now I have been learning a whole lot, and I would advise anyone who wants to come to come.â€ť
Barnes said after receiving her GED she wants to further her education in college and learn even more.
Accelerated math participant Stephen Manning said he, too, is excited about the opportunity to receive his GED soon and is thankful he doesnâ€™t have to drive very far to get his education.
â€śI think itâ€™s great,â€ť Manning said. â€śItâ€™s right here in your hometown.â€ť
Manning said math areas, such as Algebra and Geometry, have been a bit challenging at times but heâ€™s glad he can depend on Bearden and Instructor Jessica Flint to help him understand and pass the course.
â€śWe have two good teachers,â€ť he said. â€śThe teachers have been breaking it down and making it really easy.â€ť
Manning used to work at Artex before it closed down and has worked at several places since then, including Prairie Opportunity where he was laid off. Now Manning is hoping his GED will help him find a great paying, steady job to support himself and his family. Heâ€™s hoping to work in his hometown after completing an electrical or HVAC program at EMCC.