Alternative pathways for finishing 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).

Type of program
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 age 17 to continue earning credits towards a high school diploma. Classes are held between 3 and 6:30 pm. Participants may earn 6 to 9 credits each year.
Hunting Park

Ben Franklin

South Philadelphia

Over 17

Must have more than 8 high school credits

Not enrolled in a regular day school

Transition Programs
Structured environments with personalized learning programs for students who have been expelled, transferred for serious disciplinary issues, or returned from court-sponsored placement.
PLA North and South

Camelot Academy

Phase 4 Learning Center – Hunting Park

Grades 6-12 or 9-12