Distance learning for GED® students in rural Pennsylvania

Esther Prins, Brendaly Drayton, Ramazan Gungor, Cathy Kassab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although many adult basic education programs offer distance learning (DL) for GED (General Educational Development) and English as a Second Language learners, this topic has received little scholarly attention. This article examines the availability, usage, and effectiveness of DL for rural GED candidates in Pennsylvania; students' demographic and educational characteristics and participation patterns; and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of DL for students and education providers. Data sources included records of 24,143 rural GED students in state-funded programs; GED test takers' demographic survey data; interviews with DL educators and students; and a survey of non-state-funded DL providers. The results show that 4% of rural GED students-primarily young, White, low-income women-participated in DL. Rural DL students were as likely to pass the GED Tests as face-to-face learners. Key advantages and disadvantages of DL for rural GED students are discussed. The study signals great potential and need for expanding DL in rural regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-235
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Distance Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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