This program has been in place at Cedar Crest College since September of 1998. It was developed for many reasons. At the time of the program’s development, the Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley did not offer any G.E.D. classes during the evening. Since many people work the day shift, this seemed very unfortunate. In addition Cedar Crest College students and volunteers had virtually no contact with the adult population of the Lehigh Valley. Previous service opportunities ranged from working with small children and youth to the elderly residing in local nursing homes, with little interaction with other adults. Students also had the desire to volunteer but had no means of transportation to get off campus to the sites. The College needed a way to bring people to campus in order to serve them. The needs of the community and those of the students seemed to fit together perfectly. The program was designed and developed in conjunction with the Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley under the direction of Susan Henderson at Cedar Crest College and Connie McDowell at the Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley. The program supervisors are now Tammy Bean, Director of Community Service at Cedar Crest College, and members of the Literacy Center.
For this program, attendance is required. A tutor is makes a commitment to attend each date she/he has scheduled. Tutors are required to complete twenty-eight hours and tutor for at least ten weeks. In order for the members of the G.E.D. program to have a positive learning experience, the tutor must be organized, responsible and consistent. More than two unexcused absences will result in termination from this site. Excused absences include class, serious illness, and other extenuating circumstances agreed upon by the site supervisor and the tutor.