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Earning Your District of Columbia High School Diploma!

Earning a high school diploma can be a student's first step to starting a new career or advancing his or her education. The District of Columbia offers several alternatives for students who didn't earn their high school diplomas through the traditional high school system.

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Earning a High School Diploma in the District of Columbia

District of Columbia students who didn't earn their high school diplomas can attend an adult high school diploma program, participate in the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) or earn their General Educational Development (GED) credential. The District of Columbia also offers English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes.

High School Graduation Requirements

The District of Columbia requires its high school students to earn at least 24 credits in order to graduate. These are broken down into four credits of social studies, four credits of science, four credits of English, four credits of mathematics, two credits of world languages, 1.5 credits of health and physical education, half a credit of music and half a credit of art. Additionally, at least two credits must be earned in approved college or career prep courses, and students must complete 100 hours of community service. More information about these requirements can be found through the District of Columbia Public Schools (dc.gov).

Adult High School Diploma Program

The District of Columbia offers a high school diploma program for adult students through a series of alternative public or charter schools. Like the normal high school diploma, students are required to complete 24 credits for graduation. Generally, these programs are open to adults who are 18 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in a traditional high school program. Classes may be offered in the evenings to help learners schedule around work or family.

National External Diploma Program

The NEDP program is a high school diploma equivalency program designed for adults who are 25 years of age or older. Instead of relying on coursework, participants use their life and professional skills to show their competency in 65 different areas. The NEDP is composed of both a diagnostic phase and an assessment phase. During the diagnostic phase, participants' skills are evaluated, and during the assessment phase, participants demonstrate these skills through tests that might evaluate their knowledge of government, independent living, health, math and communication.

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