Earning Your North Carolina High School Diploma!

North Carolina offers individuals who did not graduate high school a chance to earn a high school diploma as an adult. Read on to learn about the state's Adult High School program, as well as other basic education options.

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North Carolina Adult High School Diploma Program Overview

North Carolina offers adults without a high school diploma several alternatives that range from learning the basic skills needed to find a job and function in society to earning a GED or an adult high school diploma.

Graduation Requirements

According to the Public Schools of North Carolina there are two pathways to receiving a high school diploma.

The Future Ready Core path requires that high school graduates must have completed 22 units, including four each of English, mathematics and social studies, as well as three of science, one of health and physical education and six electives units, including two from career and technical education, arts education or world languages.

An alternate path to a diploma is to follow the Future Ready Occupational track. This track also requires a total of 22 credits; however, four of these credits must be in a career/technical field. It also requires four English credits, three in math, two each for science and social studies and one in physical education. Six elective credits are required in occupational preparation in the desired career track.

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Adult High School Diploma

Students 16 years or older are eligible for the Adult High School (AHS) program, though those under 18 will need to complete an enrollment form for minors. Adults who want a diploma can find the required classes at all but 10 of the community colleges in the state. Course and graduation requirements are in accordance with the credit hours outlined above. There are no minimum credits required for entry into this program and it is tuition free.

Career Pathways

Career Pathway is a program that integrates basic education skills with career training for low-skilled adults, adults with disabilities, youths not enrolled in school, ex-offenders and ESL students. Students receive an adult high school diploma or equivalent and earn credentials and skills in certain career offerings. These students are also eligible for the Basic Skills Plus program that offers students tuition free credits at participating community colleges

Adult Basic Education

The Adult Basic Education (ABE) program is designed to help adults who aren't necessarily looking to earn a diploma or GED, but who wish to improve their skills in the learning basics of reading, writing, math and English.

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