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Rio Salado College is offering free adult GED classes at West-MEC in Phoenix and Buckeye

Rio Salado Community College and the Western Maricopa Education Center public school district, known as West-MEC, have teamed up to offer GED test prep in the West Valley and introduce students to other educational opportunities. 

Rio Salado will offer free GED test prep courses at two West-MEC locations in north Phoenix and Buckeye. The classes begin every seven weeks with morning and evening options. 

“We wanted to make it easier for at-risk adults and students who have not completed their high school diploma to more easily come to a convenient location to complete their GED courses," said Spencer Isom, West-MEC’s director of business development and government affairs. 

The test prep classes provide in-person and hybrid instruction. Rio will be offering them for free through June 2022. After that, the courses could cost between $25 to $75 depending on student’s household income and number of family members in the household. Scholarship and grant funding are available for GED courses and college-level coursework. 

In addition, these students are invited to participate in West-MEC’s adult ed welding program.  

“It’s giving students a chance to achieve academic and employability skills at the same time that they’re learning a trade that can have a great earning potential," said Tamara Cochran is the dean of instruction and community development at Rio.

Tuition and fees for the welding program range from $3,175 to $9,575. Some students may qualify for full tuition support. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to the Maricopa County Community College District.

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.