What are the ways I may finish high school and get a high school diploma?

There are a variety of ways to earn a high school diploma or its equivalent:

General Educational Development (GED) Program
The GED test is a national test which measures your knowledge and thinking skills in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The five skills tested include: understanding and applying information; evaluating, analyzing, and drawing conclusions; and expressing ideas and opinions in writing. After you past the exams you will receive a credential that certifies your 12th grade-level abilities in reading, writing, social studies, science, and mathematics. Many adults who did not graduate from high school have developed skills through work, community, family, and study experiences. The GED tests allow those adults to demonstrate academic abilities that are equivalent to those of high school graduates.

Receive your equivalency certificate, accepted by most employers and colleges, after passing all five parts of the test. You may want to check with your state or local public school’s Adult/Community Education programs to determine availability of programs and support. Some public adult education programs may offer free services for enrolled students. For example see: Virginia’s Race for the GED http://www.vaged.vcu.edu/index.html or Fairfax County Public School’s Adult Education Program in Virginia
Learn more about the GED at:

The National External Diploma Program (NEDP)
From their website: The National External Diploma Program (NEDP) provides a unique way for adults to earn a high school diploma. The program allows adults to demonstrate their high school level skills by applying their life experiences in real-life situations.

NEDP awards a traditional high school diploma to adults who have acquired many of their high school level abilities through work, family, and community experiences. NEDP is not a traditional instructional program. Instead, it provides the opportunity for participants to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. Because NEDP participants are adults, the program structure offers considerable flexibility. Participants complete parts of the program at home and the other parts in a series of meetings on site with a trained NEDP advisor and assessor.

The program consists of two phases: the Diagnostic Phase and the Assessment Phase. In the Diagnostic Phase an NEDP advisor evaluates the participant’s basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, and completes a survey of prior life experiences. Once the participant has met the requirements of the Diagnostic Phase, the Assessment Phase begins. In this phase, the participant demonstrates writing, speaking, mathematics, problem-solving, reading, and critical thinking academic skills through the performance of real-life tasks. Embedded in these real-life tasks are sixty-five individual competencies. A trained NEDP assessor determines that the participant has demonstrated each of these competencies with one hundred percent accuracy. The Assessment Phase also requires that each participant satisfy an individualized competency. This is verified through an assessment in one of the following:

  • Occupational/Vocational Competencies
  • Specialized Competencies
  • Advanced Academic Competency

Learn more at: http://www2.casas.org/home/?fuseaction=nedp.welcome

Veteran’s High School Diploma
Many states provide veterans with Honorary High School Diplomas that recognize the life experiences of veterans who were unable to complete their high school education because of service in the armed forces during time of war. For more information on how to obtain a veteran’s honorary diploma, contact your local adult education programs or state department of education.