Become a High School Graduate in Ohio: HS Diploma Programs

In Ohio, adults who want to complete their high school education and earn a high school diploma instead of a GED certificate may consider an adult high school program. The precedent for adult high school programs is set in the Ohio Revised Code and allows district boards of education to establish such programs.

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Ohio Adult High School Diploma Programs

The Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education at the Ohio Department of Education regulates adult high school diploma programs. A district board of education must file with the Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education to establish a program and receive approval to begin offering it to students. Each district will set the standards for how program credits equate to high school credits. The district will also grant its own diploma to students finishing the program.

Enrollment Requirements

According to Chapter 3301-43 of the Ohio Revised Code, individuals entering an adult high school diploma program must be at least 16 years old and not hold a high school diploma or equivalent (codes.ohio.gov). However, to be granted credits and complete an adult high school program, an individual must be at least 22 years old. An individual must also not be currently enrolled in high school. Residency in the state of Ohio and the district granting the credits is also required.


A district board of education must grant credits in accordance with Ohio law. A half credit is granted for at least 60 clock hours. One full credit is granted for 120 hours minimum. Alternatively, the district superintendent may grant credits according to the district's policies.

Credits may be granted for coursework, work experience and life experience. Self-improvement classes or other courses completed at a school, organization or educational institution may also be used to earn credits. There is a maximum of six credits that can be earned through alternative means instead of through traditional coursework.

Types of Programs

School districts may offer adult high school diploma programs in local schools as evening classes. These programs generally operate alongside the normal school schedule with holidays and summers off. Some programs may operate on a different schedule and also offer classes during the day.

Coursework is usually traditional with courses in math, science, English, writing, reading and physical education. Some programs may require participants to pass the Ohio Graduation Tests in addition to completing coursework.

Programs may only be open to students age 18 or older. However, some schools may offer exceptions for students under 18 who meet special requirements. These programs may charge a fee for enrollment.

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