R1. High School Diploma (HSD)
Centers must make every effort to assist students in obtaining their high school diplomas, where feasible, during their enrollment.
Centers must implement a program to support student attainment of high school diplomas. At a minimum:
a. The program must be accredited by the state department of education in the state in which the program is located, or the General Council of Education of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a recognized accrediting body, if the state defers to a regional accreditation process. Acceptable accrediting bodies are listed in Appendix 304.
b. Centers must also ensure that all high school programs provided to students are recognized as public, private, charter, special purpose or other high schools by the states in which the programs are located.
c. The center must not require students to pay any high school program fees. In addition, if students are required to supplement high school diplomas with additional courses for acceptance into branches of the military, centers must provide courses to students at no cost to the student.
d. Centers that are degree-conferring high schools, Local Education Agencies (LEA), and/or receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education must assess students with disabilities who may be in need of special education services, and provide those services accordingly. Centers that meet these criteria must confirm with an appropriate local, state, or federal education agency official that its high school program is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). The process for assessing students and providing special education services to those students with disabilities must be documented in the center plan (see PRH Chapter 3, Section 3.1).
R2. High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation and Testing
Centers must implement programs to support student attainment of HSE certification as required by the states in which the centers are located or where students are sent for HSE testing.
a. Centers must provide instruction in content areas necessary for students to pass state- designated high school equivalency assessments and achieve state high school equivalency certification.
b. Establish linkages with local HSE test sites to provide regularly scheduled testing dates. A center that cannot access local testing sites may submit a request to its Regional Office (RO) to obtain permission to apply to the appropriate state department overseeing HSE testing for approval to become a local testing site.
c. Ensure high school equivalency tests taken at test sites on the center be administered by a third party test administrator from a local educational or community institution (e.g., a community college or local school district). High school equivalency tests must not be given by an employee of the Job Corps Center.
d. Pay all fees associated with student HSE testing and certification.
R3. Concurrent HSD/HSE Programs
Centers are encouraged to develop concurrent HSD/HSE program opportunities through local or public educational agencies, private educational agencies, or online/virtual learning programs, whenever such entities provide education and training substantially equivalent in cost and quality to that which the center could provide.
Concurrent HSD/HSE arrangements must be approved by the Regional Director and formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or contract. At a minimum, HSD/HSE MOUs or contracts must include:
a. Job Corps program eligibility of all participants
b. Name and location of the HSD/HSE program provider
c. Description of how services will be delivered and coordinated throughout the student’s Career Development Period (CDP)
d. Methods for determining student enrollment, progress, and completion in the concurrent HSD/HSE program
e. Accrediting body certifying attainment of the HSD or HSE certificate
f. All associated costs to the center
g. Nondiscrimination clauses and commitments to adhere to all applicable state and federal laws with regard to students with disabilities (e.g., IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, ADA, etc.)
Every effort should be made to reduce class size in approved HSD/HSE programs. However, concurrent arrangements must ensure that both programs are not paying for the same services. Center operating budgets/staffing must be adjusted to account for services provided by other concurrent enrollment institutions.
R4. Online High School Program Requirements
Centers must adhere to the following requirements when implementing online high school diploma programs:
a. All guidelines and requirements established by the online high school diploma program.
b. Cell phones and other electronic devices, including cameras, must not be used for any purpose in the classroom.
c. Online high school program or other approved Job Corps sites must be the only sites authorized on the classroom computers.
d. Online high school teachers must create and maintain student passwords and usernames for the online program, and change them on a regular basis to prevent misuse.
e. Students must not take exams outside of the online high school classroom or the academic building.
f. Examinations must be administered in a controlled environment. Peers or other class activities must not interrupt students during exams. The teacher must closely monitor students during examinations to prevent disruptions or cheating.
g. Students must not use online search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc.) to find test answers.
h. Students must not leave the testing environment with examination codes or passwords.
i. Teachers must enter the test code for each exam for every student, or students must be provided the test code and at the conclusion of the daily training time in the online high school program, the teacher must change the codes for any incomplete examinations.
Centers must record information on students’ HSE and high school diploma achievement while on center in the Center Information System (CIS), and maintain the appropriate supporting documentation in the students’ permanent Job Corps files.
a. HSD/HSE Completion Reporting
1. The HSE completion date recorded in CIS will be the date on the student’s HSE certificate, if available. If the HSE certificate cannot be obtained prior to a student’s separation, the center can enter the date of the student’s last HSE test on the official notification from the HSE testing center indicating the student has passed the HSE assessment.
2. The official high school diploma completion date recorded in CIS will be the date on a student’s diploma. If the high school diploma is not available at the time of a student’s separation, the center can enter either: the date of the official letter from the diploma-granting institution indicating the student has met all the requirements for graduation and will be issued a diploma at a later date; or the date on the student’s official high school transcripts indicating graduation.
b. HSD/HSE Final Documentation
1. Copies of the HSE certificates or official HSE scores must be included in students’ permanent files.
2. Copies of high school diplomas students earned while on center, final high school transcripts, and supporting documentation on special education services, as applicable for students with documented disabilities, must be included in students’ permanent files.
c. HSD/HSE Progress Reporting and Documentation
1. Copies of students’ HSE practice test results (paper answer sheets, or reports generated by official practice test software, or TMS reports) will be maintained by centers required by the states in which they are located to show documentation of official practice test results prior to students taking HSE exams.
2. Centers must record students’ test scores in each HSE content area in CIS, as written confirmation is received from the testing center. Scores recorded in CIS must be updated to record higher test scores that students may obtain in retests, as needed, in each content area.
3. Students’ progress in their HSE and high school diploma programs must be documented in the students’ personal career development plans.