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Alternative pathways for finishing high school

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Philadelphia has several alternative pathways to earn a diploma for students who are over-age, undercredited, or have dropped out.

Here are some alternative educational options outside of the traditional classroom environment. Students should contact the School District’s Re-engagement Center at 440 N. Broad St. for a complete list of programs (215-400-6700) or visit the District’s Alternative Schools office website.

Type of program Description Examples of programs/sites Sample eligibility requirements
Accelerated high schools Give over-age and undercredited students an opportunity to get on track to graduate in 3 years or less. El Centro de Estudiantes, One Bright Ray Community High School, Ombudsman Northwest and South Vary by program
GED-to-college programs Provide GED preparation, college access information, and college preparation. GED To College Success Program at 1199C, GED To College at Temple University, GED To College (G2C) by YESPhilly 17 or older; Not in school; Want to enroll in college upon attaining GED
Gateway to College Offer dual enrollment, allowing students who have dropped out of school to earn their high school diploma and college credit simultaneously. Scholarship pays for college tuition, fees, and books. Community College of Philadelphia Ages 16-21, dropped out of school; No more than 21 high school credits; At least an 8th-grade reading level
Educational Options Program Allow students and adults over the age of 17 to continue earning credits towards a high school diploma. Classes are held in the afternoons between 3 and 6:30 p.m. at four locations. Hunting Park, Ben Franklin, Overbrook Over 17; Must have more than 8 high school credits; Participants may earn 6 to 9 credits each year.
Transition Programs Structured environments with personalized learning programs for students who have been expelled, transferred for seriously disciplinary issues, or returned from court-sponsored placement. PLA North and South, Camelot Program, Phase 4 Learning Center-Franklin Mills Grades 6-12 or 9-12

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