Frequently Asked Questions

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woman student
1. What is the difference between ABE/GED and the Adult High School Diploma program?

Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a non-credit program. Classes are open to anyone 16 or older who desires to improve basic reading, writing, and math skills from non-literate to pre-college level. Students without a high school diploma also have the opportunity to prepare for the GED exams in the five subject areas: writing, social studies, science, reading, and math. Students who are 16 or 17 must obtain an official release from high school and submit it to the college’s admission office before registering for classes.

Adult High School Diploma Program is a way for you to complete studies by earning college credit while taking PCC classes to satisfy your remaining high school requirements. You may earn an adult high school diploma at PCC if you are 16 years of age or older. (For students less than 16 years of age, please refer to Under 16 Years of Age Admissions.) Previous high school credits from an accredited institution will be evaluated and applied toward your PCC diploma.

2. What can I achieve in this program?

Students can earn their Adult High School Diploma and earn a significant number of college credits toward a certificate or an Associate’s degree.

3. Are the requirements for earning a PCC high school diploma different than the requirements for earning a diploma issued by the high schools?

Yes. PCC issues an Adult High School Diploma for which the State of Oregon has mandated specific requirements that PCC must meet. In addition, the approved State plan for PCC’s Adult High School Diploma requires competencies in reading, writing, and math. Completion of program intake paperwork is required upon acceptance into the AHSD program. Graduation paperwork must be completed 1 term prior to graduation.

4. Who are High School Completion students?

We welcome students 16 years of age and older. Our population includes students who are currently out of high school age and want to finish their diploma here at PCC, as well as students who are well beyond high school age and want to pick up where they left off to continue working on their high school diploma.

Adult High School Diploma students choose PCC for a variety of reasons. Some are dissatisfied with the high school environment and require more academic rigor to be challenged. Other students need to finish for employment purposes, to join the armed forces, or to be a role model for their children. Still others are home schooled and want to attend PCC to add to their high school units.

5. What can I achieve in this program?

Students can earn transferable college credits toward a certificate or a degree, while completing requirements for their AHS Diploma. Students will also learn how to navigate the college system, make good use of college resources, adjust to the adult learning environment, learn good time management skills, and practice interdependence.

What is expected of me as a student?
  • Students who are enrolled in classes in the PCC Adult High School Diploma Program are considered college students and are expected to adhere to all Portland Community College policies and procedures.
  • Students will tailor their own school plan from a range of class days and times that best fits their schedule.
6. How much time can I expect to spend studying and completing homework assignments for each class?
For every hour spent in class, students can expect to factor in a minimum of 2 hours of homework. For example, if you are taking a 4 credit class, you will spend 4 hours a week in class and have another 8 hours a week of homework, bringing the total minimum time commitment to 12 hours. Therefore, we strongly encourage students who have a job, or other obligations, to consider the time demands of college level work required for this program.
7. What are the costs involved?
Students are responsible for all expenses:
  • Tuition is assessed by the credit. Use the tuition calculator to estimate what your payments will be.
  • Parking fees will vary according to a student’s schedule of classes. Consult the Parking and Transportation website for more information. For alternative transportation you can visit the Shuttle website.
  • Book costs vary depending on the class however $150 to $200 per term is about average for a full-time student.
8. What kind of support will help me be successful in a college setting?

Students work closely with their campus Adult High School Diploma Specialist, who will serve as your coach, advocate for you, and guide you to resources that will enable you to be successful. AHSD Specialists provide the following services on an individual basis:

  • Transcript evaluation.
  • Academic advising and long range educational planning.
  • Assistance with completing enrollment, class selections, and registration.
  • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, counseling, student activities, and more.
9. If I have been on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) at my high school, will I still receive the same services and support at PCC?

Portland Community College does not recognize IEPs, however you still may qualify for special accommodations. Please contact our Disability Services for more information.

10. How do I obtain my "official" high school transcript?
Contact the last school district you most recently attended and request a signed and sealed copy of your official transcript. It is best to call in advance to place your order.