Portland Adult Education
    • Phone :
    • (207) 874-8155
    • Address :
    • 14 Locust Street
    • Portland, Maine 04101
    • Connect with us:

High School Diploma

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Getting Started
  1. 1. Obtain your transcript, if possible.
    Call the guidance office at the last school you attended and ask them to send your transcript to our office at 14 Locust Street, Portland, ME 04101 or fax it to 207-773-0151.
  2. 2. Call 874-8155 to make an appointment with our High School Diploma advisor. The advisor will review your transcript and determine the credits you have already earned.
  3. 3. Check here for current intake information.  Completing an intake will determine which Math and Language Arts classes you are ready for.
  4. 4. After meeting with the advisor and completing Math and Language Arts intakes, you will register for the classes you and the advisor have selected. Any class required for high school completion is free, but you should plan to pay for your books. Please be prepared to register and pay for your course immediately following the appointment.
  • - You must meet with the advisor before you can enroll in the program.
  • - The appointment will take about 2 hours.
  • - If you have ACCUPLACER scores, please bring them to the appointment with you.
  • - Our advisor is available by appointment during the day and some evenings.
  • - The advisor can also help you determine if a diploma or the HiSET (formerly GED) is the right credential for you.
  • Once you are in the High School Diploma program, schedule a follow-up appointment with your advisor in the month prior to each new term to evaluate your progress in the program and plan your courses for the next term. You should also plan to meet with the teacher, advisor, or director if any problems or difficulties arise.

If you have any questions, please contact our Academic Advisor, Anja Hanson, at [email protected] or call 874-8155.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, most students need to earn 20.5 Carnegie units (11.5 required courses and 9 elective courses). This is equivalent to the requirement to graduate from Portland’s traditional high schools. Your advisor will tell you how many credits you already have and how many you need to earn your diploma. You must earn credits in the following areas:

Required Subjects

# of Required Credits

Credits You Have

Credits You Need


4 credits


3 credits

Social Studies

1 credit


1 credit


2 credits

Computer Applications

.5 credit


9 credits (may vary)

Earning credit

One credit is earned for successful completion of any course that exceeds 45 hours. Credit is awarded on the basis of attendance and completion of class work. Be sure you understand the attendance policy for HSD students: if you miss more than two classes, you may lose credit for the course. Teachers of partial credit classes may require even fewer absences. All missed class time, including tardiness and early dismissal, may be counted toward absences.

Any credits you earned in a previous high school setting will count toward your requirements.

  • Out-of-school experience

  • With proper documentation, up to six credits may be granted for out-of-school experience. This may include:
    - Work experience, on-the-job training
  • - Apprenticeship programs, trade and business courses
  • - Online courses
  • - Independent study
  • - Military service
  • - Volunteer community work
  • - Homemaking or parenting experiences

If you have questions, please get in touch with Academic Advisor Anja Hanson, at [email protected] or call 874-8155.