Hinds Adult Education Program helps students get high school diplomas


As a life coach for Hinds Adult Education Program, Hyde Heckman lends support to adults seeking to further their education.

“Some people consider us like counselors,” Heckman said of her job. “We help the students with anything they might need help with outside of class. For example, interviews skills, resumes, career choices and eliminating barriers for our students on anything that would prevent them from coming to class or not being able to complete their education.”

The Noblesville resident, who has been working with Hinds Adult Education Program for more than five years, serves as life coach during the day for the Elwood, Noblesville, and Anderson locations. There also is a night life coach.

Hinds Adult Education Program offers free classes, serving Hamilton, Madison and Tipton counties.

Classes are held at Ivy Tech Hamilton County in Noblesville from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. There are classes Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Westfield Middle School. There are sites in Alexandria, Anderson and Elwood. The classes are free with funding through the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development.

“They want us to educate these individuals so they can get better educated to have a better workforce,” Heckman said. “There are a lot of individuals in Indiana that do not have their high school diploma or have a lot of education.”

The classes helped prepare the students for the High School Equivalency test (HSE/HiSET), which was formally known as the GED.

The HiSET test gives adults the opportunity to achieve their high school diploma without having to get 40 hours of high school credits. The High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma is earned by taking the HiSET test. Indiana previously used the GED and TASC tests but changed to the HiSET test in 2021.

The other purposes of the classes are to brush up on academic skills for college and enroll in career training and certification preparation; help the adults’ children with their homework or school work, prepare to be a certified paraprofessional school assistant and learn English for those who speak English as a new language.

Heckman said the classes are available to any adults regardless of their academic level. All classes are taught by licensed teachers. Anyone at least 16 years of age who has lived in Indiana for the last 30 days is eligible. Also eligible to take the HiSET test are those who are not currently enrolled in or graduated from an accredited high school.

New this year is the HSE Boot Camp, which will be held three Saturdays at Ivy Tech Hamilton County in Noblesville. Class candidates must pre-qualify through new student intake testing. The first one started Sept. 11, but another boot camp will be held in April 2022.

The classes usually begin right after July 4 and continue year round. Those interested can call 765-552-4122 to register for free classes or visit hindscareercenter.org/programs-careers/adult-education-training/adult-basic-education-abe.