GED/HSED certificate programs

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help address educational disparities, assist unemployed workers, and prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • General Education Development (GED) certificates are awarded on successful completion of a series of tests that gauge the individual’s general knowledge of high school subjects such as math, reading. and science
  • The GED provides individuals who lack a high school degree with an equivalent credential
  • Benefits include improved job market prospects and access to postsecondary education among others
  • Testing programs may also include tutoring, counseling, and social services

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)

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Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Increased earnings and earnings potential
  • Reduced recidivism
  • Increased employment
  • Increased chances of a student entering and succeeding in college or other postsecondary educational programs
  • Studies show programs can improve students’ literacy and numeracy skills

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Use rigorous college and career readiness curricula to help encourage participants to continue onto postsecondary education and training.
  • Provide open enrollment systems to encourage greater participation; new students can enter classes on a weekly, or even daily, basis.
  • Provide materials and resources for instructors to plan strong and coherent less plans and professional development.
  • Provide transitional services for students looking to complete a postsecondary education or enter the workforce.
  • Provide interdisciplinary curricula, incorporate tools from healthcare and business fields, and use career-oriented materials rather than simply focusing on the raw GED curriculum; these tactics have proven successful in entering students into postsecondary education or work training.

High School Equivalency Diploma Program - Racine, WI

High School Equivalency Diploma Program - Racine, WI

Racine's High School Equivalency Diploma Program: Educating and Empowering Racine’s Workforce

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