(401) 762-3841 riral@riral.org


National External Diploma Program®

National External Diploma Program® (NEDP) is designed for self-directed adults who prefer to have their practical skills evaluated through the process of completing activities, rather than through traditional standardized test taking. It is a unique way for individuals to earn a traditional high school diploma by working at any location with internet access. The NEDP evaluates the reading, writing, math and workforce readiness skills of participants in life and work contexts.

The NEDP offers flexible scheduling while evaluating competencies that are based on skills outlined in the Common Core College and Career Readiness standards. It evaluates 70 competencies in ten content areas including Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, Civic Literacy, Geography, History, Science, and Twenty-First Century Workplace.

Participants in this program must demonstrate their skills through the successful completion of a series of assignments. Candidates must complete these assignments with 100% accuracy. This is an opportunity for candidates to work independently while maintaining weekly appointments with their NEDP advisor/assessor.

All National External Diploma Program candidates must demonstrate an entry-level job skill or an interest in post-secondary education. After completing these requirements, you will be awarded a high school diploma from a Rhode Island school department.

NEDP information sessions are on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2:00 pm. If you need information or have questions email nedp@riral.org.

How does the NEDP work?

Prior to entering the NEDP program, students must attend a registration session and take a math, reading, and writing test. Scores from these tests will determine if the student is ready to begin NEDP assessment. If the scores are not quite at the level they need to be, then the student is encouraged to enroll in an ABE (Adult Basic Education) course to improve his/her basic skills.

The number of RI residents that can participate in NEDP is limited, and the NEDP orientation will be necessary to prove that you will be a good candidate for the program. Once the orientation is completed and candidates are admitted into NEDP, they will meet weekly with an assessor and complete the take home tasks.


Will I get a real diploma and can I use it to go to college?

Yes! You will receive a high school diploma. It will come from Woonsocket or Central Falls, depending on which adult education program you are enrolled in and where you reside. You may then apply to any college, just like any other high school graduate. Remember, colleges have varying admissions standards to which all applicants must adhere, regardless of where they obtain their diploma. You should consult with the institution that you plan to seek admission.

How long does it take to complete the program?

After registering and meeting the test score requirements to enter the program, completing the NEDP takes an average of eight months. Your skill level and the amount of time you can devote to the program determine the length of time required.


How much does it cost?

The total cost of the program is $1,300: the Rhode Island Department of Education pays $1,000, and NEDP candidates must pay $300. Payment is due before the writing diagnostic is administered. Payment must be in the form of cash or money order; personal checks are not accepted.

I live in Massachusetts – Can I enroll in NEDP?

You MUST be a Rhode Island resident to enroll the NEDP.

Massachusetts residents are welcomed to take ABE/ASE classes at RIRAL. Massachusetts residents who want to earn a HS credential should contact the MASS Adult Literacy Hotline 1-800-447-8844 or click here.

✓ Register Now: Call (401) 762-3841