The Missoula Lifelong Learning Center will honor the first graduates since the transition from the GED to a new High School Equivalency Test, the HiSET, in January.

Director of Missoula County Public School’s Adult Education Division Monique Fortmann, said the facility will celebrate their graduation Friday night at the Lifelong Learning Center, formerly known as Emma Dickinson Elementary School on Curtis Street.

"We are looking forward to celebrating 64 adults who, since the beginning of the year, have taken a brand new high school equivalency exam, and have successfully passed it."

Fortmann said Montana no longer utilizes the GED program, and instead has chosen what is called the HiSet, an acronym for High School Equivalency Test. She said the biggest advantage of the HiSet program, is that all testing is done online, and not with pencil and paper.

"All the systems test in five areas, math, language arts-writing, language arts-reading, science and social studies," she said. "what makes the HiSet different in Missoula is that we are only administering it as a computer-based test. That way, individuals can move through the exam quicker, and there isn't a specified start and end time."

In addition, Fortmann said, the new HiSet program has resulted in a graduation rate of 92 percent.

The graduation ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. Friday night, January 13, at the Missoula Lifelong Learning Center, on Curtis Street, and she expects a packed house.

Director of Missoula County Public School’s Adult Education Division Monique Fortmann