Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

Yu, Chien

Committee Member

Bracey, Pamela

Committee Member

Yu, Wei-Chieh W.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development


In January of 2014, GED Testing Services launched the GED 21st Century Initiative, which was comprised of 2 achievement levels: a high school equivalency standard and a college and career readiness standard. One of the most important goals of this initiative and the redesign of the 2014 GED test was to demonstrate that GED test takers are college and career ready. Using a qualitative case study cross analysis research approach focused on two Adult Basic Education (ABE) GED test preparation sites, this study focused on developing a holistic view of the GED 21st Century Initiative by addressing 5 research questions. Emphasis for the 5 research questions focused on the implementation and the impact of the GED 21st Century Initiative, preparation of the students for college and career readiness, technology integration for ABE/GED programs, and professional development for the staff of the ABE/GED programs. Study findings suggested a great need for ABE/GED programs to be restructured to include curriculum development that incorporates Common Core State Standards, Career and College Readiness Standards, computer literacy, and pathways for preparing students to enter into college or into the workforce. Providing pathways that are comprised of a comprehensive approach which includes incorporating several strategies for ABE/GED programs have proved to be a more successful approach to helping students transition to the next level. Another important finding of this study was that the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) assessment provided inaccurate scores of the students’ higher order thinking skills when compared to the 2014 GED test, which caused students to be misplaced in their GED classrooms. One other important finding this study indicated was a continuous need for professional development. Overall, participants thought that the redesign of the 2014 GED test was necessary and they remain hopeful about the benefits of the new test and the possibilities that lie ahead for their ABE/GED programs.