Adult Secondary Programs
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 Adult High School Diploma Program (GAASHD)
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 (NEDP) is an applied performance assessment system that assesses the high school level skills of adults. The NEDP evaluates the reading, writing, math, and workforce readiness skills of participants in life and work contexts. The program is self paced, flexible, and has no timed tests. The program is for self-directed adult students who are comfortable working independently. Participation in local and regional external diploma programs is available to adults who are 18 years of age and older who did not complete high school and are not enrolled in school. An adult high school diploma shall be awarded to an adult student who demonstrates through applied performance assessment full mastery of the National External Diploma Program Generalized Competencies. For more information about this national program, please visit National External Diploma Program.
The General Achievement Adult High School Diploma (GAAHSD) Program 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 GAAHSD include prescribed standard units of credit and a passing score on the General Educational Development (GED) test. Standard credits required for the GAAHSD 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 GAAHSD is not meant to be a "first option" for high school students. The GAAHSD is an adult education diploma program; therefore, GAAHSD candidates may not be enrolled in K-12 public school.
- 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)
- Specific Requirements for the Completion of the GAAHSD (PDF)