Back to Top

Nontraditional Students with Traditional Diplomas: 25 Years of Celebrating GED and NEDP Students in Anne Arundel County

Nov 15, 2023

One graduate is a 48-year-old who has been trying to pass the GED® exam for nine years. Now diploma in hand, he seeks to be an addiction counselor. Another, originally from El Salvador, started classes in the middle of a painful divorce. She takes care of her special needs daughter, who inspired her to keep going.   

These are just two stories from the 50 graduates walking the stage in the 25th Annual Anne Arundel County High School Diploma Student Recognition Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold. There were a total of 135 graduates eligible for the 2023 ceremony.  

In the program, students who pass the GED® exam or complete the National External Diploma Program® (NEDP) earn a Maryland High School diploma issued by the Maryland Department of Labor. Both paths to a diploma are free and available to anyone over 18.   

The programs, through Anne Arundel Community College, provide academic counseling to each student to create a pathway that meets their unique needs, including tutoring, online engagement or in-person classes at different times and locations across the county.

“The ‘why’ is very different for each student. Some have recently left high school, are returning to school after years raising a family, are seeking new career opportunities or are new immigrants to the United States,” said Dana Marron, director of AACC's Adult Education and English Language Learning. “Students are unified by a common desire for growth and advancement for themselves and their families. Their dedication and drive is inspiring to us as staff and faculty."      

Many graduates through the years have participated in Adult Education programs provided through AACC and the Ordnance Road Correctional Center (ORCC). Besides celebrating graduates, Wednesday’s ceremony also paid tribute to the late Russell Wright, the education coordinator for ORCC, who helped more than 1,000 incarcerated students earn their diplomas. Wright passed away in March. 


We're here to help.

Strategic Communications


Send Email

Media Contact

Alicia Renehan
Public Relations Manager

Looking for stories past? Feel free to browse our archives.
More News