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Kentucky Skills U, KCTCS introduce new pathway to high school equivalency diploma without testing

For the first time, Kentucky adults without a high school or GED diploma have the opportunity to earn a high school equivalency diploma without passing a test.

A new Kentucky Administrative Regulation, 13 KAR 3:060, allows Kentucky Skills U to award the Commonwealth of Kentucky High School Equivalency Diploma “for credit hour completion at Kentucky Community and Technical College System institutions.” The regulation took effect Aug. 31, 2018.

Eligible candidates must meet the following criteria: be at least 19 years of age; have not obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent; meet the admission and placement requirements of Kentucky and Community Technical College System institutions; and maintain a Kentucky address.

“It is imperative that we create innovative, alternative options beyond the GED test to allow individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and competencies,” said Reecie Stagnolia, vice president for adult education (Kentucky Skills U), Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. “We have to be flexible, nimble and responsive in assisting our students in obtaining 21st-century skills in accelerated models.”

Eligible candidates will qualify for the Commonwealth of Kentucky High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma upon successful completion of a minimum of three credit hours in each of the following content areas (for a total of at least 12 credit hours), as certified with an official KCTCS transcript: written communication; quantitative reasoning; natural sciences; and social and behavioral sciences. (Successful completion of this coursework entails passing with a grade greater than or equal two “C,” constituting 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, or being awarded credit for prior learning as indicated on an official KCTCS transcript.)

“The 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System offer access to higher education in more than 70 locations across the Commonwealth. Now, through this partnership with KY Skills U, an individual can earn an HSE while also earning college credit — opening doors to new career opportunities and the option to continue their college education to achieve a certificate or associate degree,” said Dr. Jay Box, KCTCS President.

Kentucky Skills U (formerly Kentucky Adult Education) and KCTCS staff have reviewed the entry-level courses in these content areas; those courses that meet or exceed the skills demonstrated through passing the GED® exam at college-ready level are eligible for the program and are posted on the Kentucky Skills U website (kyskillsu.ky.gov).

To be issued an HSE diploma, the eligible candidate must submit an official KCTCS transcript documenting successful completion of the qualifying credit hours, as well as a completed application and a $25.00 application and processing fee, to Kentucky Skills U.

For more information about the Commonwealth of Kentucky High School Equivalency Diploma, contact Kentucky High School Equivalency Administrator Rae Smith, Kentucky Skills U, at rae.smith@ky.gov or (502) 892-3058.    

From Kentucky and Community Technical College System

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