Become a High School Graduate Maryland: Program and School Info

May 30, 2020

About the Maryland High School NEDP

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Adult Learning's Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning administers the National External Diploma Program. The NEDP allows adults to earn a high school diploma by demonstrating skills that are comparable to different academic areas. Adults may have learned these skills through life experience or work experience. The skills tested through the NEDP include reading, social awareness, mathematics, writing, self-awareness, aesthetic awareness, oral communication, scientific awareness, consumer awareness and critical thinking.

The NEDP is not classroom based. All work is done at a self-guided pace and meetings are one-on-one with the student and NEDP personnel.


To qualify for the NEDP, a person must be at least 18 years old and not currently enrolled in high school. Students in the program must be able to work independently and keep themselves on track with the requirements of the program. It is also recommended that a student have some specific trade or ability that they have specialized in, such as construction or managing a home.

The NEDP requires students to demonstrate academic and life skills through performing practical activities, such as reading from a newspaper, measuring the length of a board or writing a letter. Skills may also be proven through documentation, such as proof of work experience or training.

Completing the Program

To successfully complete the NEDP, students must create a skills portfolio and complete evaluations by NEDP advisors. The evaluations involve students performing activities that showcase their skills and knowledge. Students must produce evaluation results that showcase their competency in ten areas in order to pass the program. These areas are financial, civic, and health literacy; geography; history; science; and the 21st century workplace. Additionally, students are tested for college and career readiness. Once the NEDP is completed, students are awarded a Maryland high school diploma from the State Board of Education.

Why Become a High School Graduate in Maryland?

More than 7 million job openings requiring a high school diploma or equivalent will be added to the economy each year, on average, from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, jobs requiring an associate degree will have a growth rate of 7.9% from 2018-2028. Your high school diploma is your path to the future for a better career and a sustainable wage.

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