October 2000

ALBANY, NY 12234


State High School Equivalency Diploma


  1. Are all alternative education programs high school equivalency programs?

    No. Alternative education programs can either lead to a high school diploma or to a high school equivalency diploma.

  2. What are the various types of high school equivalency programs that school districts and BOCES can operate?

    There are three types of programs that lead to a high school equivalency diploma that school districts and BOCES can operate. They are:
    • Alternative High School Equivalency Preparation Program (AHSEP). Youth must be beyond compulsory school age and under the age of 19 years at enrollment. [ C.R. 100.7 (h)]
    • High School Equivalency Program (HSE). Youth must be at least 18 years of age and less than 21 years of age to participate in the program. [ C.R. 100.7 (i)]
    • Employment Preparation Education Programs (EPE). For individuals who are over 21 years of age. [ C.R. Part 168 ]

  3. Has there been a change in the age ranges of students who can be admitted to the Alternative High School Equivalency Program (AHSEP)?

    Yes. The change has increased the upper age of students from under the age of 18 to under the age of 19. All special and general education education students who have completed the school year in which they turned 16 years of age, or such older maximum age as the board of education of the school district may designate for required school attendance, and who are under the age of 19 can enter the program.

  4. What are the changes to the AHSEP program requirements for students?

    All students who participate in the AHSEP program should receive a minimum of 12 hours of program activity per week. For students with reading and mathematics levels at grade nine or above on tests approved by the Commissioner, preparation for the General Educational Development (GED) Tests shall be no less than six hours of the minimum 12-hour program.

    For students with reading or mathematics levels below grade nine on tests approved by the Commissioner, no less than 9 hours of the minimum 12-hour program shall be instruction in reading, mathematics, oral and written communication, and life skills.

    Previously, students who tested at the eighth grade level in reading were in the first category and received six hours of instruction in preparation for the GED Tests.

  5. What are the requirements to receive a high school equivalency diploma through college level credits?

    Beginning with applications made after September 1, 2000, 24 college credits must be earned at an approved institution distributed as follows: six credits in English language arts including writing, speaking and reading (literature); six credits in mathematics; three credits in natural science; three credits in social science; three credits in humanities; and three credits in career and technical education and/or foreign languages. [C.R. 100.7 (a) (2) (iii)].