High School Equivalency and Upgrading

If you need a high school diploma, or you need to upgrade your high school courses, there are a number of options open to you.

Adult Basic Education (ABE) Level II/III

Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a provincial program for adult learners and is made up of three levels: Level I refers to basic literacy and roughly equates to levels K-6; Level II is considered equivalent to grades 7-9; and Level III corresponds to grades 10-12 and requires the completion of a minimum of 36 credits in order to graduate.

  • Individuals on income support wishing to attend ABE are eligible to receive placement support allowance which may include a start-up allowance, monthly stipend, transportation and subsidized child care.
  • There are three different profiles:
    • Degree and Technical Profile – for students who want to enter University or other post-secondary programs which require an equivalent level of secondary education (for example, Engineering Technology, Natural Resources and Health Sciences programs).
    • Business-Related College Profile – for students who want to enter business-related college-level programs (for example, Business Administration, Business Management, and Information Technology programs).
    • General College Profile – for students who want to go on to post-secondary programs that require high school graduation from the General program (for example, Office Administration, Industrial Trades and some Applied Arts programs).
  • To be eligible for ABE II/III, a student must be 19 years of age or older and a resident of Canada (permanent resident, landed immigrant, or person with refugee status).
  • Individuals may be eligible for special admission if they are 18 years of age and have not attended school for at least 6 months. Students can obtain a copy of the special admission referral package here or contact an ABE service provider for a copy.

To apply for the ABE Level II/III program, contact a service provider approved to deliver the ABE Level II/III program. A current list of ABE service providers can be found here.

For more information on ABE Level II and III, please contact:

Trina Grandy
Program Development Specialist
Literacy and Institutional Services Division
Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Email: trinagrandy@gov.nl.ca
Telephone: 1-709-729-6828

Alternative High School/High School Credit Program

In the province’s Alternative High School/High School Credit Program, participants earn their high school diploma in General or Academic Programs granted by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

It involves the same courses, texts and graduation requirements as in regular high school.

  • Applicants for the High School Credit Program must be 18 years of age during the calendar year of application and out of school for at least 6 months.
  • There are two formal semester start dates: one in in September and one in January.
  • Offered by The Murphy Centre in St. John’s. Contact the Murphy Centre at (709) 579-6606 or by visiting their website here.

General Educational Development (GED)

The General Educational Development (GED) test provides certification equivalent to a high school diploma. The tests measure the general knowledge, ideas and thinking skills that are normally acquired through three years of high school.

You are able to take the GED tests in Newfoundland and Labrador if you are:

  • At least 19 years of age or older;
  • Not currently enrolled in a high school program;
  • Not already graduated from high school; and,
  • A Canadian citizen

More information on writing the GED test can be found here.

To help prepare for writing the GED, Adult GED Preparation programs are available. For information on preparing for the GED, please contact:

  • The Murphy Centre at (709) 579-6606 or visit their website here; or,
  • Thrive at (709) 754-0536 or visit their website here.

Youth at Promise

Young people, aged 16 to 30, who have not completed high school are eligible for the Youth at Promise program at Thrive.

  • Youth in this program may have attended school throughout junior high and into high school, but may have large gaps in their literacy and numeracy.
  • Participants in Youth at Promise work towards the completion of the GED.
  • The program specializes in helping young people that are overcoming challenges with housing, addiction or mental health.

For more information, please call Thrive at (709) 754-0536 or visit their website here.