05-071 C.M.R. ch. 225, § 2 - Adult High School Diploma Guidelines

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

A. Local Education Agencies (LEA's) seeking approval to issue high school diplomas to adults and out-of-school youth will be required to submit a Diploma Program Plan in accordance with the following criteria prior to receiving approval. This Diploma Program Plan will be reviewed every five years in conjunction with the LEA's Adult Education Program Review. The Diploma Program Plan will include:
1. a statement of program philosophy approved by the local Board of School Directors or LEA governing body;
2. policies approved by the local Board of School Directors specifying total number of credits required, required subjects, and eligibility requirements;
3. a description of the grandfathering process used locally to address the number of credits required of persons born prior to October 15, 1970 if differentiation is made locally;
4. a description of the process used by the LEA to determine competency of diploma teachers deemed qualified to teach adults;
5. a description specifically addressing efforts to provide students with experiences in the areas of Fine Arts, Computer, Health, Consumer Economics, and Career Exploration/Personal Development; the nine required credits; utilization of the External Credit Option; counseling services; and records maintained;
6. a description of the local process for testing out;
7. a description of the process developed locally to determine the awarding of credits based on out-of-school experiences.

The DE shall approve Adult Education Diploma Programs based on plans which meet their criteria.

B. The course of study for adult students leading to a high school diploma is to include a minimum of sixteen (16) credits, such credits to include the following:

English: Four (4) credits in English to include reading comprehension; appreciation of literature; writing; listening and oral communication skills; the structure and uses of the English language; and research and reporting skills;

Social Studies: Two (2) credits in social studies, one(l) credit of which will be a comprehensive course in American History which includes instruction in government, the importance of voting, the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence; and one (1) credit which may include instruction in economics, geography, political science, history, government, sociology, anthropology, psychology, or career exploration/personal development;

Mathematics: Two (2) credits in mathematics which shall include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers; fractions; decimals; percents; simple equations and formulas; measurement; ratios and proportions; graphing; and basic geometry concepts. Students demonstrating proficiency in these basic math skills may substitute Recordkeeping/Accounting for one math credit;

Science: One(l) credit in science instruction shall be required with laboratory study recommended.

Every effort should be made to provide students with experiences in the areas of Fine Arts, Computer, Health, Consumer Economics, and Career Exploration/Personal Development as their educational plans are being developed.

Of these sixteen (16) credits, a maximum of six (6) may be awarded for out-of-school experiences. For each credit required locally in excess of sixteen(16), an LEA may authorize one additional credit to be awarded through out-of-school experiences.

Persons enrolled in a Maine Adult Education Diploma Program prior to July 1, 1988, may graduate under the subject requirements in that Adult Education Diploma Program as they existed immediately prior to July 1, 1988. All students who first enroll in a Maine Adult Education Diploma Program after July 1, 1988 must meet the subject requirements of this subsection. Persons transferring from a Maine Adult Education Diploma Program in which they were enrolled prior to July 1, 1988, to another Adult Education Diploma Program within Maine shall maintain their "previously enrolled status.

C. Teachers are deemed qualified to teach adults either by holding current State of Maine teaching certificates or by demonstrated competency as determined by LEA developed criteria. This subsection may be superseded by rules adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to 20-A MRSA Chapter 502, Certification of Education Personnel.
D. The adult student's individual program must be planned by the director or the director's designee as duly authorized LEA officials. Each person in a High School Diploma Program will have counseling services available. Student records must be maintained and will include the following:
1. a written description of the student's goals and objectives and the procedure by which the student plans to attain his/her goals.
2. academic records including any previous transcript;
3. documentation for credits received through work experience, testing out of courses, apprenticeship programs, volunteer programs, and any other information pertaining to the awarding of credits.
E. Each student will complete a minimum of forty-five (45) instructional hours for each credit pursued in the Adult Education Diploma Program with the exception of credits pursued through the External Credit Option.
F. Each course offered for credit will have a curriculum on file outlining minimum competencies as determined by the local education agency.
G. Each student's progress will be evaluated during and at the end of each course.
H. Credits based on participation in secondary school, business school, trade school or other educational programs approved locally may be accepted or awarded upon receipt and evaluation of transcripts or certificates.
I. No person will be awarded a high school diploma unless he/she has earned a minimum of one (1) credit through participation in a classroom or ECO learning experience offered by a Maine adult education program.
J. Provided "I" is met, students may be allowed to test out in a maximum of four (4) required and/or elective courses in which they feel competent.
K. Provided "I" is met, a maximum of six(6) credits may be awarded from the following out-of-school experiences. For each credit required locally in excess of sixteen (16), an LEA may authorize awarding one
(1) additional credit from the list below in accordance with locally developed criteria:
1. a maximum of two(2) credits from Correspondence Schools;
2. completion of a Maine State Apprenticeship Council approved apprenticeship program, the maximum number of credits to be established locally;
3. one (1) credit may be awarded for military service of not less than two (2) successive years resulting in an honorable discharge or separation; the military experience criterion also covers candidates who have spent a minimum of six (6) years in the National Guard or in the Reserves and who hold an honorable discharge;
4. one (1) credit may be awarded for three (3) consecutive years of work experience in no more than one occupation and two (2) credits for work experience of five (5) years or more in length in no more than two (2) occupations; military experience in excess of the criterion established in number three (3) above may be considered as work experience and may pertain to persons currently on active duty who are in good standing; homemaking experience based on independent living skills may be substituted for paid work experience using the work experience criterion; the maximum number of credits will be established locally;
5. one (1) credit may be awarded a person participating in a forty-five (45) hour volunteer work activity planned and supervised by the director or the director's designee; maximum number of credits will be established locally;
6. credit may be earned by a student through independent study; maximum number of credits will be established locally;
7. career exploration is a concept which allows diploma candidates to earn one (1) credit based on forty-five hours of observation/practicum experience in business, industry, institutions or agencies, maximum number of credits will be established locally.


05-071 C.M.R. ch. 225, § 2

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