National External Diploma Program Fact Sheet for Web-based System

  • The National External Diploma Program (NEDP) allows adults to demonstrate their high school-level skills by applying their life experiences in real-life situations.  It was developed in accordance with the American Council on Education and is endorsed by both the United States Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Education.  CASAS took over NEDP administration in 2007.  In Virginia, NEDP is available to adults 18 years old or older.  New candidates may begin the program at any point in the year.

    NEDP v/s HSE (High School Equivalency) - Generally, adult learners who choose NEDP over an HSE exam like the GED do so for one or more of the following reasons:

    • Test anxiety
    • Do not perform well under strict time constraints
    • Prefer to show what they know through real-life activities
    • Struggle with highest-level math
    • Struggle with high academic language of an HSE exam
    • Need a diploma instead of an equivalent for military or other reasons

    Components of the NEDP:

         1.  Appraisal:  Candidates must score at the C or D level in Math and Reading to be allowed to enter into NEDP diagnostics.  If a candidate scores lower than a C level on either subject, they are referred and enrolled to skill building and retested after 40 hours of instruction.

         2.  Diagnostic:  Candidates pass a CASAS Writing, Reading and Math test at 9th grade level or higher to move from diagnostic to assessment.  Candidates must also complete paperwork identifying their self-assessed familiarity with the skills measured in the assessment portion and their ability to use technology.  They must also identify an individualized competency (entry-level work skill) and complete the O-Net Occupational Interest Profile.

         3.  Assessment:  Candidates work through a series of 70 competencies on a web-based assessment system with 100% mastery.  Please refer to the transcript of competencies and competency areas shown below.

         4.  Portfolio Review:  As each competency area is completed, another trained NEDP staff performs a "blind" assessment to verify that every competency is demonstrated with mastery.

         5.  College and Career Competency:  Candidates have several options for proving that they have a skill that will assist them in transitioning to post-secondary education, training or a career, e.g. by a letter and assessment from their employer, verification of completion of a vocational training program, etc.


     NEDP table


     The Foundational Competencies include:

    • Communication and Media Literacy
    • Applied Math / Numeracy
    • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

    The Life Skills competency areas:

    • Civic Literacy and Community Participation
    • Consumer Awareness and Financial Literacy
    • Cultural Literacy
    • Geography and History
    • Health Literacy
    • Science
    • Twenty-First Century Workplace

    Cost:  $300 

    We also offer 2 scholarships a school year. The scholarship recipient must meet minimum attendance requirements and complete program a year from start date.

    Payment Schedule:

    • $100 at enrollment
    • $100 after completion of writing diagnostic.
    • $100 after all areas are in portfolio review.   
    • The entire balance must be paid in full before the diploma is ordered.
    • Must complete within 12 months of start date or will be billed an additional $100

    Timeframe:  Generally 6-12 months to complete