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Frequently Asked Questions
EARNING A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA | DISTANCE LEARNING | HSED EXAM
What do I need to do to get started?
The first step to start work on a HSED or Adult High School Diploma is to attend an Information/Registration session. Call 319-784-1510.
How do I know if I should work on a HSED or Adult Diploma?
During the Information/Registration session you will learn about both options.Then our staff will review your previous school history, along with results of the CASAS tests, to help advise you on the best option for you to earn a high school diploma.
What is the CASAS test, and why do I have to take it?
The Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) exams are required by the state of Iowa and the United States Department of Education of all students who attend our program. These exams provide the state of Iowa with funding for adult literacy programming, reducing fees for your adult diploma courses or HSED preparation. The CASAS exams are separate from HSED testing and from Adult Diploma exams.
The CASAS exams also help our staff determine your current skill level so we can advise you on which courses or preparation programs will best match your academic needs.
When can I work on my HSED or Adult Diploma?
After completing CASAS and meeting with an instructor to determine your program of study, you may work in your local learning center. Check with your local learning center for operating hours. Learning center hours are modified during summer months, as well as for break periods. Please watch for postings of changes to the learning center schedule.
What if I have a learning disability or a physical condition that would allow me to have accommodations in my program?
Kirkwood Community College has established policies and procedures to implement provisions of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. These policies and procedures are used to determine reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to meet academic and technical standards required for their educational program.
ETS Testing Services, which is responsible for the HSED, has established a process for receiving accommodations on the official HSED test. An application must be submitted by the student along with documentation of his/her disability. Once the application is processed and reviewed, learning center instructors and the student will be notified if accommodations are granted and if so the type of accommodations received.
If you would like to request accommodations for your HSED or Adult Diploma, please visit with a learning center instructor to request the necessary forms.
TAKING A HIGH SCHOOL CLASS
What courses are available?
Kirkwood HSDL offers a variety of online and correspondence courses, Visit our courses page to see what is currently available.
How many classes can be taken at a time?
We recommend taking one class at a time; however, there is no limit. Your school district may have a policy regarding this. All classes must be registered through your school district.
When is the best time to enroll?
Anytime! Make sure that sports, drama, band, dance, cheerleading, speech, debate or other activities will not interfere with your ability to finish this class. You have four calendar months to complete the course from the day you register.
How do I register for a course?
Contact your local high school and follow their enrollment procedure. Once you have received permission from your school to enroll in a HSDL course, complete and send the registration form along with your payment to:
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Wait for materials to be sent to you via email or to your school via USPS mail.
How do I take a test?
- All written tests are done in the presence of a proctor.
- For correspondence and online courses, tests are emailed to the proctor indicated on the registration form.
- Students turn in their homework for the chapter/unit over which they are testing.
- Proctors mail tests and homework to the HSDL office.
- For online courses, there are two tests to each unit.
- The computer-scored test may be taken at any time.
- Students take exams in the presence of their proctors.
- Proctors mail, email or fax the tests to the HSDL office for scoring.
What if I fail a test?
Students are expected to be prepared the first time they test; however, there is one retake allowed per test. Students should study for a minimum of one week before testing.
What if I don’t finish the course?
- Students may request an extension of up to one month, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the HSDL office.
- Students may re-register for a course by completing the registration process again.
- Students withdrawing (requests need to be in writing to the HSDL office) from the course within the first 14 calendar days are issued a 50 percent refund.
- Courses are not transferrable to other students.
How is high school credit awarded?
- Students successfully complete the whole class.
- Passes all tests with a minimum score of 60 percent.
- Completes all assigned homework.
- Returns the textbook to the HSDL office.
- An official grade report is emailed to the school with the recommended credit.
- Your school will add the credit to your transcript.
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