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Making a Difference: Building a Foundation for Success

For viewers, KET may be best known for its quality programs including Masterpiece dramas, Kentucky Life, Finding Your Roots and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Among those who work with adult learners, however, KET has long been seen as a go-to source for high-quality educational resources, such as our FastForward course, which helps people prepare to earn the GED® credential. And this reputation extends beyond Kentucky’s borders to across the nation.

A photo portrait of Holly Heintz seated wearing a blue-and-white floral jacket over a white blouse.

Just ask Holly Heintz, an adult education teacher in St. Petersburg, Florida, who was named the 2017 National Teacher of the Year by the Coalition on Adult Basic Education.

I wish I’d kept a list of all the success stories I’ve had with KET’s FastForward because there’s been so many.

Holly Heintz

For nearly 25 years, Heintz has been using KET’s GED preparation materials to great effect, complementing her instruction and helping students make strides in their studies and careers.

“I wish I’d kept a list of all the success stories I’ve had with KET’s FastForward because there’s been so many,” Heintz said. “There are a ton of educational products out there, but I always come back to FastForward because it’s so well thought out and easy to use. And that goes a long way toward helping my students consistently get to the finish line.”

Heintz said she first discovered KET’s educational products – a box of VHS tapes and companion workbooks – while teaching adult education at the Pinellas County Jail.

“The inmates were visual learners, and I liked the way the KET tapes broke stuff down and made it simple to understand,” Heintz said. “And I was amazed by quickly they were learning.”

The VHS tapes Heintz used were in many ways a product of the larger educational vision that KET’s founder O. Leonard Press had for the network when, in the mid-1970s, it created a televised GED preparation series that reached across Kentucky, particularly to remote regions where traditional classes were hard to come by. The series was so successful that KET ultimately established a new division to distribute the series nationally.

Over the next 50 years, KET continued to refine and expand its GED resources, working closely with the GED Testing Service®, to produce GED preparation materials on a variety of media to fit the times: VHS cassettes, DVDs and ultimately as a website compatible with all mobile devices.

FastForward’s “always-available” convenience, Heintz said, has been a time-saving boon for her students, who can now study while riding a bus or whenever they’ve got a few minutes to spare.

Encouraged by the success Heintz had with her students, the Pinellas County School District ultimately became one of KET’s largest education clients, purchasing licenses to make FastForward available to all its adult education students county-wide.

In fact, FastForward today is used by students in all 50 states and has become a trusted resource endorsed in the GED Testing Service’s all-in-one GED preparation course.

“I think it’s called FastForward for a reason – because it gets you to where you need to go,” Heintz said. “I’ve used it with students ranging in age from 16 to 60. And it’s a beautiful thing to see them achieve their goals and get to where they’re able to teach their own children, go out into the workforce and give back to their communities.”