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High School Alternatives


High School Alternatives


Adult Education

A high school diploma program is offered at the Adult School for students within 6 months of their 18th birthday, and are not able to graduate from their high school. Interested persons should contact their school counselor, principal, or the administrator at the South San Francisco Adult School at (650) 877-8844.


California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE)

This program allows persons 16 years of age and older, who have not graduated from high school, to apply for the examination; and if successful, to be awarded a certificate of proficiency by the state of California. Persons younger than 16 also may take the test if they:

  • Have completed a year of enrollemnt in the 10th grade, or
  • Will complete a year of enrollment in the 10th grade at the end of the semester in which the test date falls.

The certificate is a legal equivalent of a high school diploma. Pupils who pass the test may leave school if they are at least 16 years old and have parental permission; also, they may enroll in any California community college on the same basis as persons graduated from high school. The university of California and the California State University System will accept the certificate in lieu of the regular high school diploma; however, all other entrance requirements (subject pattern, grades, and tests) must be met. (The certificate should not be confused with the high school equivalency certificate).

The proficiency examination is generally offered three times each school year (October, March, and June) for a fee. It tests students in the areas of: reading (about and eighth grade level), mathematics, writing, problem solving, and knowledge of life situations. The examination is administered bu Educational Testing Services. Application Procedure: Application forms and information about test dates may be obtained from the counselor or online at


General Educational Development Test (GED)

A report of passing scores on the GED generally is accepted by employers throughout the country in place of a high school diploma. Also, it is accepted by most colleges and universities but with the same restrictions that apply to the CHSPE certificate. The GED is a five part, multiple choice examination which measures educational development in comparison with high school students in the following areas: correctness and effectiveness of expression, interpretation of reading materials in social studies, natural sciences and literature, and general mathematical ability. Successful examinees may obtain a California High School Equivalency Certificate, which must be accepted by public employers as an equivalent of a high school diploma.

Application Procedure: Contact the district's Adult Education office, at (650) 877-8744, for information regarding test dates.

Test Preparation: Prep courses are available through the Adult Education program.

Eligibility: Consult with the Adult Education Counseling Dept. to determine eligibility.