Adult Secondary Programs
Board of Education emergency regulations impacting adult high school programs became effective on July 17, 2013, for school year 2013-2014. See Superintendent’s Memo #202-13 for details.
Adult secondary programs provide adults with the opportunity to earn a high school credential. Adult secondary programs are located in school divisions and funded through a combination of state grants and local funds. Many, but not all school divisions, provide program services.
Three programs are offered in Virginia to serve this need.
- Adult High School Diploma
- National External Diploma Program (NEDP)
- General Achievement Diploma (GAD)
Adult High School Diploma
The Adult High School Diploma program enables an adult no longer enrolled in public education to complete the required courses/activities to earn an Adult High School diploma, with the local high school scheduling classes and determining course requirements in accordance with standards established by the state.
The National External Diploma Program is a unique way for adults, age 21and older, to earn a high school diploma. The program is self paced, flexible and has no timed tests. Students meet weekly with their assessors to demonstrate high school level abilities by applying them in simulated, real-life situations. This program is for self-directed adult students who are comfortable working independently at home for several hours a week. The program takes an average of three to twelve months to complete and yields a high school diploma, which can lead to college, advanced job training, or military service. For more information about this national program, please visit the home of the National External Diploma Program.
General Achievement Diploma (GAD)
The General Achievement Diploma (GAD) is intended to provide a diploma option for high school dropouts and individuals who exit high school without a diploma. This diploma is intended for individuals who are at least 18 years of age and not enrolled in public school or not otherwise meeting the compulsory school attendance requirements set forth in the Code of Virginia.
The requirements for the GAD include prescribed standard units of credit and a passing score on the General Educational Development (GED) test. Standard credits required for the GAD may be earned in a variety of educational setting, including:
- public school
- community college or other institution of higher education
- adult high school program
- correspondence, distance learning, and online courses
The GAD is not meant to be a "first option" for high school students. The GAD is an adult education diploma program and diploma candidates may not be enrolled in K-12 public school.
Grants & Funding
For information on the grant application process, see Grants & Funding
Effective Date for the Regulations Governing Adult High School Programs, December 2005.
Superintendent's Memo (Informational) No. 233, Dec. 9, 2005. Also Guidelines (PDF)
Transmittal of "Statement of Administrative Impact and Project Costs of Implementation" for the Proposed Revisions to the Regulations Governing Adult High School Programs, May 2005.
Superintendent's Memo (Informational) No. 098, May 6, 2005. Also Attachment (PDF)