GED/HSED certificate programs

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)


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

  • Nationwide

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.

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