High School Diploma/Equivalency
Basic Skills

A High School Diploma or GED Equivalency is recognized as the key to employment opportunities and advancement. If you need to complete this important step of your education, Continuing Education can help you. We also offer classes to help you prepare for the GED exam, the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), or complete job training.

Adult basic education classes offer review in reading, math, spelling, writing, communication, and critical thinking.

High school classes are available for the following subjects:

  • Algebra 1 and 2 and Pre-Algebra 1 and 2
  • American Literature 1 and 2
  • Computer Literacy
  • Contemporary Voices 1 and 2
  • Economics
  • English 3 and 4
  • Government
  • Physics 1
  • Unifying Algebra and Geometry 1 and 2
  • US History 1 and 2
  • World History 1 and 2

Joint High School Diploma Program

Completing your High School Diploma or GED is an important step in your education. Often, this step is critical to having successful employment opportunities in the future.

San Diego Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. We offer two Joint High School Diploma Program options, as well as a GED program. Our programs use many teaching styles in the classroom including group and individualized instruction. We also maximize the use of technology by offering computer-assisted instruction, video lessons, and the use of appropriate websites.

The Joint High School Diploma program is in cooperation with San Diego Unified School District. Please speak with a Continuing Education counselor at any campus to understand how the options work, and to find out how you can achieve this educational goal.

Eligibility

Students who are 18 years old and who were not enrolled in the previous semester in San Diego Unified School District, or who are 19 years 11 months or older should contact a San Diego Continuing Education campus for additional information.

Students who are between the age of 18 and 19 years 11 months and who were enrolled in the previous semester in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) should contact one of the SDUSD Adult Education sites listed on the reverse side for additional information.

Attendance

Regular attendance is expected in all classes in accordance with the approved class schedule. It is important to be in every class, be on time, and keep up with class assignments. The campus (instructor or staff) must be notified of the reason for any absence. If the campus is not notified after three (3) consecutive absences, you may be automatically dropped from classes, and an appointment with your counselor may be required to re-enter class.

Progress and Grading

Progress in each academic course will be measured by letter grades A, B, C, D, and F (unsatisfactory). Unsatisfactory progress for 30 hours of instruction in any class will result in an instructor-counselor conference to discuss the reason(s) for lack of progress and ways to improve performance. If you receive a grade F in more than half the subjects you have taken, you will have a review with your counselor to discuss your educational goals. For purposes here, a grade of incomplete in a course will be considered satisfactory.

Privacy Rights

The San Diego Community College District does not release information to any organization, agency or individual without student consent, regardless of the student’s age.

Conduct Policy

The California Education Code requires that community college classes for adults be open to the public. Cause(s) for dismissal may be willful interference with the conduct of the instructional program, threats or acts of violence against the instructor or other students, or acts which interfere with the safety of students, school personnel or school property. Use of, or being under the influence of drugs or intoxicants on school premises, may also be cause for dismissal.

Option 1

Students who complete this option will receive a joint high school diploma from the San Diego Continuing Education program in cooperation with the San Diego Unified School District Adult Education.

Students must earn a total of 40 semester credits. Credit for appropriate senior high (Grades 9-12) courses taken in Grades 7 or 8 may be applied to a high school diploma. Credit may be given for previous education. No high school credit is given for religion classes.

Credit requirements

  • 8 English, including American Literature
  • 2 Fine Arts or Foreign Language
  • 1 Practical Arts
  • 6 Mathematics, including Algebra 1&2, Geometry 1&2, and Intermediate Algebra 1-2, or Unifying Algebra and Geometry 1-2
  • 6 Science, including Biology 1&2 plus 2 (4 credits) of the following courses: Earth Science 1, 2; Physics 1, 2; Chemistry 1, 2; or equivalent
  • 6 Social Studies, including World History 1&2, U.S. History 1&2, U.S. Government, and Economics
  • 11 Electives

Additional requirements

  • Competency in computer literacy
  • Senior exhibition
  • A minimum 2.00 Grade Point Average
  • Passing scores on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in English and Math

Option 2

Students who complete this option will receive a joint high school diploma from the San Diego Continuing Education program in cooperation with the San Diego Unified School District Adult Education.

Students must earn a minimum of 24 semester credits or the equivalent. You must demonstrate competency and earn credits though a combination of standardized testing, high school classes, and college classes. Credits from previous education may be applied toward this diploma.

College credit courses may be taken in lieu of high school courses. A two-unit college course is equivalent to two semesters of high school credit.

Credit requirements

  • 1 American Literature
  • 5 English
  • 6 Social Studies (World History 1&2, U.S. History 1&2, U.S. Government, and Economics)
  • 4 Mathematics, including Algebra 1&2 or equivalent
  • 4 Science, including Biology 1&2, and 2 Physical Science or equivalent
  • 2 Practical Arts (San Diego Continuing Education students may use some work experience)
  • 2 Visual Arts, Performing Arts, or Foreign Language (or a combination)

Additional requirements

  • Competency in computer literacy
  • Senior exhibition
  • A minimum 2.00 Grade Point Average
  • Passing scores on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in English and Math
  • 2 units of college credit (waived for 2012-2013)

General Educational Development (GED)

The General Educational Development (GED) exam gives you the opportunity to earn a high school equivalency certificate, which is recognized as a key to job opportunities, further education, and greater earning potential.

The GED exam covers five different areas of general education. Each area has a specific number of multiple choice questions, and must be completed within a certain amount of time. You must also complete a written essay. Questions range in difficulty and it is widely recommended that you participate in preparation that includes a practice exam prior to scheduling your actual exam. Preparation classes and the practice exam are free of charge.

Five Areas of the GED Exam

Language Arts, Writing

pie chart - 15%, 30%, 30%, 25%

Part I (50 questions, 75 minutes)

  • 15% Organization
  • 30% Sentence Structure
  • 30% Usage
  • 25% Mechanics

Part II (written essay, 45 minutes)

Social Studies

pie chart - 25%, 15%, 25%, 15%, 20%

50 questions, 70 minutes

  • 25% US History
  • 15% World History
  • 25% Civics and Government
  • 15% Geography
  • 20% Economics

Science

45%, 20%, 35%

50 questions, 80 minutes

  • 45% Life Science
  • 20% Earth and Space Science
  • 35% Physical Science

Language Arts, Reading

25%, 75%

40 questions, 65 minutes

  • 25% Nonfiction Texts (nonfiction on prose; review of visual arts, and workplace and community documents)
  • 75% Literary Texts (prose fiction, poetry, and drama)

Mathematics

pie chart - 25%, 25%, 25%, 25%

50 questions (25 with and 25 without use of a calculator), 90 minutes

  • 25% Number Operations and Number Sense
  • 25% Measurement and Geometry
  • 25% Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
  • 25% Algebra, Functions, and Patterns

In 2008, almost 500,000 passed the GED exam

Earning your GED

You will receive your GED certificate as long as you complete all areas of the exam and earn the minimum passing score. Exams are centrally scored by the Educational Testing Service, in Oakland, California. A minimum passing score is an average of 450 for all five tests (a total score of 2,250), with no individual test score below 410. Your counselor can give you more information about scores.

After you complete the exam, it takes approximately two weeks to receive your official exam results and your State GED Certificate (if you have a passing score). You will receive your results directly from the State GED Office via US mail. Exam results are not given over the telephone.

All GED recipients are invited to participate in Continuing Education’s commencement ceremony usually held in June. Your counselor can give you more information about commencement.

It is highly recommended that you participate in preparation classes, including taking a practice exam, before scheduling an appointment to take the official GED exam. The preparation classes and practice exam are free of charge. Choose a location that is convenient to you and call for information.

GED Eligibility Requirements

You must be at least age 18, or within 60 days of your 18th birthday to take the GED exam. If you are age 17, and you have a written request from the armed forces, an employer, or a college or university, and a letter from the last high school you attended indicating your exemption from enrollment was granted at least 60 days previously, you may be eligible to take the exam. If you are age 17, and within 60 days of the date you would have graduated with your class if you had remained in regular high school, and you have a letter from the school verifying the date, you may also be eligible to take the exam. (Sec. 11532, Title 5, California Administrative Code)

In addition to the age requirement, you must not have previously graduated from an accredited high school in the United States, and you must not have previously received a high school equivalency certificate/diploma, and you must not have previously earned a GED exam score sufficient to qualify for a high school equivalency certificate/diploma in any state.

Taking the GED Exam

The Official GED exam is given at the West City GED Testing Center located at the West City Campus, 3249 Fordham Street, San Diego, CA 92110. Call 619-388-1873 for information.

At the West City GED Testing Center, a pre-registration/orientation appointment is required to take the official GED exam. The exam fee is currently $125. The fee must be paid prior to the pre-registration/orientation appointment. You must also present official photo identification verifying your name, date of birth, signature, and current address. High school identification cards are not accepted. It is important for you to arrive on time. (A late arrival or no show will require an additional fee). Special accommodations for testing are available for GED candidates with documented disabilities.

When you successfully complete the GED Exam, you will earn a high school equivalency certificate.

HOW

Call or visit Student Services at a campus that’s convenient to you, and find out how to get started (the process includes assessment, placement, orientation, and/or counseling).