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How Ohio is Giving Adults a Second Chance at Earning Their Diplomas

By: Steve Gratz

Adult-Diploma.pngWe often take for granted that every student we serve comes from a household where their parents/guardians are high school graduates or received the GED®. Did you know there are more than one million Ohio adults who have neither?

In 2014, through state legislation, two options became available for Ohio residents to receive their high school diplomas — the Adult 22+ High School Diploma and Adult Diploma programs. Ohioans ages 22 or older who do not have their high school diplomas or GED® now have the option of enrolling in these programs. Did I mention that both options are FREE?!

The Adult 22+ High School Diploma is a credit recovery program that allows adults to obtain their high school diplomas by meeting the state graduation requirements that were in place at the time they enrolled in the ninth grade. Independent of local graduation requirements, residents take their courses through competency-based education that allows them to progress at their own pace. Once the graduation requirements are met within two years, students receive their high school diplomas from the districts where they reside. We have now helped more than 100 adults of ages across the board receive their diplomas just within the last year.

The Adult Diploma Program provides not only a high school diploma through the Ohio Department of Education, but also training for an in-demand occupation resulting in an industry credential. Adults enroll in training programs at community colleges or adult education training centers to gain hands-on skills that will allow for higher wage salaries. In less than 10 months, more than 200 Ohioans have earned both their diplomas and industry credentials. Graduates have even moved on to college for further training and degrees!

Both programs are available throughout the state. You can learn more about Ohio’s Options for Adult Diplomas at

Dr. Steve Gratz is senior executive director of the Center for Student Support and Education Options at the Ohio Department of Education, where he oversees creative ways to help students in Ohio achieve success in school. You can learn more about Steve by clicking here.

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Last Modified: 6/1/2016 4:16:44 PM