Earning Your Maine High School Diploma!

A high school diploma gives graduates the basic education needed to pursue post-secondary studies and to seek most entry-level employment. The state of Maine sets the requirements for a Maine high school diploma and also offers adult education and literacy programs for individuals who do not have a diploma but wish to earn one.

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Earning Your Maine High School Diploma

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) offers programs to allow its adult residents to complete their high school education, earn a diploma equivalent or to seek other education programs. The state awards the adult high school diploma but leaves administration of programs to the local school boards. To be eligible for programs, individuals must be age 18 or older and not have been enrolled in, or required to be enrolled in, public or private secondary school or a higher education program for at least a year.

A list of programs and adult education centers may be found at the MDOE's Division of Adult Education website (www.maine.gov/education). All high school diploma program certificates are awarded by the local school district and have the legal status of a high school diploma.

Getting Started

Individuals must contact the local school district offices for information on enrolling in an adult education program. A list of state school districts may be found at the Maine School Management Association (www.msmaweb.com). Students will need to have transcripts from the last primary or secondary school attended when registering for a program.

Adult Diploma Requirements

The state requires participants in an adult education diploma program to complete at least 16 credits. Four credits must be in English and must include reading comprehension, writing, literature and oral communication skills. Two credits must be completed in social studies, one of which must be in American history. Another credit needs to be in geography, political science, economics, government or another related subject.

Adult students must also complete two credits in mathematics. Another credit is needed in science, with a laboratory study recommended. Other subject areas recommended, but not required, include health, fine arts, consumer economics and personal development. Of the 16 credits, six may be awarded for out-of-school experience.

Testing Requirements

The Maine High School Equivalency Diploma follows the same guidelines for GED (General Educational Development) testing. Students require an average score of 450 for each of the five test subjects, which include math, reading, writing, science and social studies. A minimum of 410 is required for each section, though another section's score would need to be higher to meet the overall average requirement. Individuals need to pass the GED Pre-Test or show proof of adequate preparation.

Other Adult Education Options

Individuals seeking a high school diploma may seek other adult education programs, including the General Educational Development (GED) certificate equivalent. This five-part test can be taken only at authorized testing centers across the state and is not available online. Detailed information about the Maine GED may be found on the MDOE website or the American Council on Education website (www.acenet.edu).

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