Wallace State’s Adult Education program offering newly-created nontraditional high school diploma

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HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s Adult Education program has added a new alternative for students who didn’t complete their high school education.

The nontraditional high school diploma, which was recently approved by the Alabama Community College System and the Alabama State Department of Education, allows students who either dropped out of high school without earning the essential number of credits to graduate or who failed certain sections of the former Alabama High School Graduation Exam to complete their high school diploma.

Students must be 17 years old to be eligible for the nontraditional diploma and must have attended an Alabama public high school.

“I think we are going to see a lot of positive responses from people, who for whatever reasons decided to drop out of high school and put off getting their GED (General Education Development). They can now see this as an option that will hopefully change their lives,” said John Glasscock, Wallace State’s Adult Education Coordinator.  “I think this is a great idea and with having been in adult education for several years now, I think the more options you give to a student, the better. It’s a perfect opportunity for a student to go back and get the diploma they thought was never possible.”

Between the two options, a student either has to have completed all the credits necessary for graduation and received a Certificate of Attendance but failed a portion of the exit exam, or they have to have completed at least 10 credit hours in high school, they can pursue the required 24 credit hours to earn the diploma. The other option has several paths that would take the place of the Exit Exam.

Students interested in the nontraditional diploma are required to contact the high school they attended, and complete a transcript request for the nontraditional diploma program and notify the school they plan to pursue a nontraditional diploma. The school will then send an official transcript and transcript audit form directly to Wallace State.

The nontraditional diploma classes are taken on Wallace State’s campus.

“We determine the best path for the students once we receive all of the paperwork and once we have an opportunity to speak with them. Once they complete the program, the high schools issue the diplomas just as if they had been completed 10 years ago,” Glasscock said. “This should provide students with a lot of motivation.”

Alabama Community College System Adult Education Director Dr. David Walters recently said in an AL.com article that more than 500,000 adults in Alabama lack a high school diploma or its equivalent in the GED.

The nontraditional diploma was initiated with hopes of decreasing the number.

“Students who have slipped through the cracks for whatever reason can take advantage of this diploma and ultimately find themselves eligible for jobs with family-sustaining wages,” Glasscock said.

For more information about the nontraditional high school diploma and the Wallace State Adult Education program, contact Glasscock at 256-352-8077 or 256-352-8078.

For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.