Earn Your High School Diploma or General Educational Development (GED) Diploma and Short-Term Occupational Training!
Why not you? Why not now? These days, life is full of "no's" and "not now's." Let us give you $1,000 reasons to say YES today!
Can you earn your High School Diploma or GED and short-term occupational training certification, through a qualifying technical college?
Yes! If you meet the following program requirements, you can start as soon as today.
To be eligible for the High School Diploma or GED Incentive, you must:
- Be a South Carolina resident.
- Be at least nineteen years of age.
- Not currently hold a high school diploma or GED from any state.
- Have started your training no earlier than July 1, 2023 and earn a credential by June 1, 2024 through the Department of Education’s Adult Education programs.
To be eligible for the Short-Term Occupational Incentive, you must:
- Have started your GED training no earlier than July 1, 2023 and earn a credential by June 1, 2024.
- Start short-term occupational training after earning a GED credential or high school diploma.
- Complete short-term occupational training by June 1, 2024 through qualifying technical colleges in the SC Technical College System.
Step 1: It all starts with enrolling in a qualifying South Carolina Adult Education program and earning a High School Diploma or GED!
I did not complete high school and have been out of school for a long time. I can go back and earn my diploma?
Yes! Adults in South Carolina can earn credits toward a South Carolina High School Diploma through one of the 47 school district adult education programs.
Will my diploma be recognized by colleges and employers?
Yes! Upon completion of the 24 required credits for graduation, you will be awarded a South Carolina High School Diploma.
I attended high school in another state. Can I finish my high school diploma in South Carolina?
Yes! The adult education program will request your records from wherever you previously attended, in- or out-of-state, and will evaluate your transcript to determine what credits are needed.
I work full-time or have responsibilities at home and don’t have time to attend classes daily.
That’s ok! All adult education programs offer online high school diploma courses that allow you to study at your own pace and on YOUR time. Certified teachers and tutors are available to support you throughout your journey.
What is the GED?
The GED test makes it possible for qualified individuals to earn a high school equivalency diploma, which opens doors to higher education through courses at qualifying technical colleges and new job opportunities. This could be the chance you've been looking for to jump-start your career and life goals. Adult Education providers in South Carolina are ready to help you get your GED at no cost to you!
- The GED subtests include information that you are already working with every day, in both your employment and your home. They are math, science, social studies, and language arts.
- How long it takes to get your GED depends on what skills you already have. It also depends on the number of hours you study each week.
- The GED is a 7-hour test with four sections which can be administered one test at a time with no more than two scheduled for one day. While that may seem like a lot, consider that you could earn nearly $7,000 more each year in increased wages by qualifying for jobs which you would not have been eligible for previously.
What are the benefits of a High School Diploma or GED?
- Get $500 when you earn your high school diploma or GED.
The State of South Carolina will give a $500 bonus payment to South Carolina citizens who earn their high school diploma or GED by June 1, 2024. Funds are limited so enroll today!
- Access more opportunities.
Many job postings require at least a high school diploma or GED to meet the minimum requirements for the job. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you will open the door to many new jobs and career opportunities.
- Succeed in work and in life.
The skills you gain in studying for your high school diploma or GED also help you gain a competitive edge to succeed. By setting and achieving a goal, your self-confidence grows. You’ll feel a sense of pride, and nothing can compare to the fulfillment that comes from working hard and gaining an education!
- Set an example for others to follow.
Family members who are still in school will see that education is important. Your determination to further your education and advance your career inspires friends and families around you and proves what is possible.
- Your circumstances may have changed.
Whatever your reasons for leaving high school, some of the challenges and circumstances you faced then may have changed, allowing you time to finish this important life step now.
- You know more now than you did then.
There is a lot to be said for life experience. You know more and have more knowledge than you did in high school. Life skills like paying bills, raising children, preparing food, using smartphone apps, working various jobs, and even something as simple as interacting with others show how much more you know now than you did in high school.
- Get prepared for your next job while unemployed.
Even if you are unemployed, why not use this time to get your high school diploma or GED with the support of Adult Education while receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments? Studying for and taking the GED test or working toward a high school diploma do not disqualify you from receiving UI benefits. Now is the time to expand your opportunities while you have the time.
- I'm not good at studying or don’t know how to prepare for the GED tests.
Preparation and attitude are the keys to succeeding on your GED test. Take practice tests to find out what you know and what you don’t. Then, study only what you need to learn. Each of the four content areas is tested and scored separately. If you do not pass one test, you only need to retake that test, not all four. Best of all, Adult Education is with you every step of the way, through studying, registration, classes, and testing.
- I have too many responsibilities that do not allow for the time to study.
If you are experiencing challenges or current circumstances that make it difficult to get started or continue with training, visit an SC Works Center or Adult Education Program near you to learn about the programs we offer that are designed to help you overcome these barriers.
Step 2: Build on your High School Diploma or GED with Short-Term Occupational Training!
Keep the momentum going after achieving your high school diploma or GED by enrolling in short-term occupational training at qualifying local technical colleges!
Can you complete your short-term occupational training for free while continuing to draw unemployment insurance benefits?
Yes! You can enroll and complete this program while getting paid unemployment insurance benefits.
What are the benefits of short-term occupational training?
- Get an additional $500 when you complete your training.
If you complete your high school diploma or GED and then move on to short-term occupational training, and earn a credential by June 1, 2024, the State of South Carolina will give you an additional $500 bonus incentive. Funds are limited so enroll today!
- Access more even more opportunities.
Gaining job-specific skills at a qualifying local technical college prepares you for higher paying jobs and potential promotions within a career path.
- Succeed in work and in life.
Short-term occupational training prepares participants with high-demand skills for high-demand jobs in South Carolina. These jobs can be the entry point to a new career path with promotions and a new world of success.
- Your goals may have expanded.
Whatever your reasons for completing short-term occupational training, this important life step will open doors of opportunity. Now is the perfect time to build on the momentum of completing your high school diploma or GED and get additional job-specific training.
- Continue preparation for your next career while unemployed.
Even if you are unemployed but will be returning to your old job, why not use this time while receiving UI benefits, to continue your education beyond the high school diploma or GED with short-term occupational training for free with the support of the Technical College System? Completing this free training does not disqualify you from receiving UI payments.
- I'm not good at studying or don’t have confidence as a learner.
Preparation and attitude are the keys to success. Best of all, your trusted advisor at your qualifying local technical college is with you every step of the way, through course selection, registration, and career guidance.
- What are some examples of short – term occupational training?
Short-term occupational training choices vary from technical college to technical college, but some common examples include:
- Medical billing and coding
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Lineman technician
- Culinary Arts
Find the perfect program and receive professional training for employment in high-demand career fields. You can do it all in less than one year -- for free!
If you face challenges while in training, the SC Works System is here for you! We offer assistance and guidance to overcome barriers. Visit a local SC Works Center near you to learn about the programs that are offered.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I find an Adult Education Program near me?
There are 51 Adult Education program across South Carolina that offer GED preparation classes and testing. Of these programs, 47 also offer high school diploma courses. Click here to find one near you!
- How do I find a participating Technical College near me?
There are 16 technical colleges across South Carolina where you can receive your short-term occupational training. Click here to find one near you!