Earning Your Rhode Island High School Diploma!

Apr 09, 2018

If you didn't earn your high school diploma, you may find it difficult to pursue employment or postsecondary education. In Rhode Island, adults may earn a high school equivalency diploma through the GED exam or National External Diploma Program.

Earning Your Rhode Island High School Diploma

For those adults who didn't earn a high school diploma through the traditional school system, Rhode Island offers the General Educational Development (GED) credential or the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) as an alternative. The state also offers other adult education programs, such as English as a second language (ESL), workplace literacy and college transition programs, which are all designed to help nontraditional students prepare for a college education.

High School Diploma Requirements

Rhode Island requires students to complete a minimum of 20 courses to earn a high school diploma. Students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in six core areas: English, math, science, social studies, the arts, and technology. Additionally, students must demonstrate competency in language arts, technology and fine arts. Individuals who are looking to earn their diploma also must complete two performance-based assessments, which might take the form of a portfolio, assessment or exhibition. These requirements are in place through the graduating class of 2020.

Rhode Island's Center for Workforce and Community Education offers adult education programs that can help you earn the coursework needed for a diploma, as well as prepare for applying for community college or vocational education programs. The center offers courses, tutoring and mentorships to adult learners.

The GED Credential

For adults who did not earn a high school diploma, Rhode Island awards a high school equivalency diploma to those learners who successfully earn a GED credential. The GED is a series of four tests designed to test proficiency in the core subject areas of reading, writing, math, science and social studies.

Rhode Island requires a score of 145 on each individual test, and a total score of 580. Additionally, the test taker typically must be at least eighteen years of age and a current resident of Rhode Island. Individuals aged 16 or 17 may take the test if they provide an Alternative Learning Plan or withdrawal letter. A list of testing centers and additional information may be found on the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website. If you do not pass the test, you can retake any section at any time. However, if you retake a section three times, you must wait 60 days to retake it again.

National External Diploma Program

The NEDP program is a web-based high school diploma equivalency program designed for adults 21 years and older. Eligible students must be residents of Rhode Island and pass an assessment in math, reading, and writing before enrollment. Students completing this program will receive a high school diploma from the Rhode Island school department. Rather than relying on traditional standardized testing, participants use their life and professional skills to show their competency in three Foundation competencies which include communication and media literacy, applied math/numeracy, and information and communication. They are also required to demonstrate abilities in seven Life Skills: civic literacy and community participation, consumer awareness and financial literacy, cultural literacy, geography and history, health literacy, science, and twenty-first century workplace.

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