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How to Become a High School Graduate in New Jersey

Adults who didn't graduate from high school, but would like to earn a high school diploma instead of the GED (General Educational Development) have two options in New Jersey. Individuals may attend an adult high school or they may use college credit to earn their diploma.

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Options to Earn a High School Diploma in New Jersey

Local community colleges offer adult high school programs, which allow students to earn a state-issued high school diploma through attending classes to earn the credits they need to meet graduation requirements. Alternatively, a student may use the 30 college credit route to a state-endorsed high school diploma that requires passing of the statewide assessment test and completion of 30 credit hours of college coursework. In order to attend an adult high school or use college credit towards a diploma, a student must be at least 16 and not enrolled in a high school.

Adult High School Programs

Students enrolled in an adult high school will undergo an assessment of their previous high school work and a review of work experience or other experiences that may be applicable toward credits. This review will help to determine how many credits a student needs to graduate according to current graduation requirements. A plan is then formulated to determine the courses the student will take. Students typically complete an assessment test and are placed in classes according to the test results.

Classes a student may take in an adult high school include math, communication, history, science, art and health. Classes may be offered full-time or part-time and include night classes. When a student completes at least 120 credits, he or she will be awarded a high school diploma. Usually the diploma is granted from the county where the community college is located.

30 College Credit Route to a State-Endorsed High School Diploma

If they have passed the statewide assessment test and provide proof they've earned 30 college credits, individuals may apply for a high school diploma under the 30 college credit route to a state-endorsed high school diploma. To apply for this diploma option, a person must fill out the state application form and submit the application with his or her college transcript to the New Jersey State Department of Education's Office of Career & Technical Education.

The college credits must come from general education courses, with three credits earned in each of the following subject areas: communications, humanities, social science, science, and mathematics. Some community colleges in the state offer programs specifically for students wishing to use this option to earn a high school diploma.

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