High School Equivalency Diploma

The High School Equivalency Tests (HiSET) give those who left high school prior to graduating the opportunity to earn their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). The HiSET exam certifies your academic knowledge is equivalent to that of a high school graduate in the following subject areas:

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Language Arts - Reading
  • Language Arts - Writing

Learn more about the HiSET and resources available including:

Eligibility and Cost

In order to be enrolled in an Iowa HSED program, you must:

  • be at least 16 years and 9 months of age (unless court-ordered)
  • not be enrolled in high school
  • have consent of parent or guardian if under 18 years of age 

All costs for the HSED program, including HiSET exam fees and study material, are covered by Northeast Iowa Community College.

Enrollment and Orientation

The Enrollment and Orientation process typically takes 3 to 4 hours. During this time you will learn about the program, complete enrollment forms, take a pre-assessment in both Reading and Math, and meet with an Adult Education and Literacy team member to create a learning plan that will be your guide toward successful completion of the HiSET exam.

To schedule enrollment or learn about upcoming sessions, please call or email:

Adult Education & Literacy
844.642.2338, ext. 3600

Enrollment may be completed at the following locations:

*Enrollment at the Dubuque Center is available on a managed basis, with a new session beginning every two months. See below for enrollment dates, an appointment must be schedule at least one week prior to the first day of the upcoming enrollment period.

Dubuque: Enrollment & Orientation Dates Dubuque: Session Dates
May 1 - 3, 2024 May 6 - June 28, 2024 (No in-person class during June)
July 1 - 3 & July 8, 2024 July 9 - August 31, 2024

Please be aware that Dubuque parking is metered. However, if you park in the Iowa Street Parking Ramp and bring us your ticket, we can put a validation sticker on it that will cover the cost when you're ready to leave for the day. 

Participation Options

  • Dubuque: Morning In-Person Class: Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Dubuque: Evening In-Person Class: Monday - Thursday, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Manchester: In-Person Class: Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Meet with an Instructor: If not enrolled in the Dubuque area, schedule an appointment with your instructor.
  • Study Online: Subject to availability.
  • Approved Homework: Assigned by instructor to be completed at home.

Testing Accommodations

Interested in Testing Accommodations? Please review the HiSET ADA Accommodations Policy and Process and do not hesitate to inform our team at the time of enrollment. Supply our staff with the required documentation and we will submit the Accommodations Request Form for you!

Completion and Graduation Ceremony

Diplomas are processed through Diploma Sender after all five HiSET subjects have been completed.

Ceremony Location Ceremony Date
Calmar Campus/Wilder Business Center July 10th, 2024
Dubuque/Town Clock Center July 11th, 2024

As a graduate, you have many new opportunities available:

Meet Our Staff

Katie Baumhover
Director of Adult Education and Literacy
844-642-2338 ext. 3134
563-275-2779 (text only)

"My name is Katie Baumhover and I am the Director of Adult Education and Literacy at NICC. Before moving into the Director role, I served as an ESOL, HSED, and IET instructor at NICC for five years. I earned a MFA in Writing from Columbia College Chicago and my Bachelors in English and Anthropology from The University of Iowa. The best part of my job is serving and advocating for our students."

William Spencer
Lead AEL Instructor
Dubuque Center/Online
844-642-2338 ext. 3133
563-275-2744 (text only)

"Hello.  My name is Will Spencer and I am a Lead Instructor in the NICC HSED program.  I came to this position after 25 years as a Teacher and Administrator at a variety of schools in Florida and Iowa. Other experiences I have had in my career have included coaching soccer at the High School and College levels.  I have had the opportunity to coach in two High School State Championship games, winning one.  I also was on the coaching staff of a local college where we made three NCAA tournament appearances, making it to the Final Four twice.  I have also been a club DJ. With these experiences I am always willing to talk about sports and music.

What I like most about my current position is the welcoming nature of the staff at the Dubuque Center.  We are happy to meet new students and help them achieve their academic goals.  This position allows me the freedom to use the skills I have developed in my life while helping others take steps to achieve their goal of completing their High School Education."

Aaron Burbach
Lead AEL Instructor
Dubuque Center/Online
844-642-2338 ext. 3136
563-275-2141 (text only)

"My name is Aaron Burbach and I bring a diverse skill set to my role as a Lead Adult Education Instructor. With experience of more than twelve years as a High School Educator, ten years as a small business owner, and two years as a Professional Writer, I am equipped and excited to assist HSED Clients with achieving their academic and personal advancement goals."

Russell Bahl
Success Coordinator / Project Manager
844-642-2338 ext. 3107
563-275-2684 (text only)

"My name is Russell Bahl and I took an unconventional path toward working in Education. Having held numerous roles from Technician to Engineer, predominantly in the R&D and Manufacturing of Medical Devices, I always found myself longing for a more direct and positive impact on society. I came back to my hometown of Dubuque and began my journey in Adult Education at NICC in 2018, and never looked back. Aside from the Data and Policy portion of my current position, I really enjoy getting to know our students and understanding their barriers on a personal level while using the "outside the box" mindset I developed during my past career to find new and more efficient ways to serve our community."

Lisa Fiorucci
Lead AEL Instructor

"My name is Lisa Fiorucci, a dedicated Adult Literacy Lead Instructor/Coach at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), since 2001. Over the years, I have served Adult Learners in multiple areas of Adult Literacy Education including: Adult Basic Education (ABE), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED and previous GED), Integrated Education and Training (IET), and Employability Skills. I have served as Iowa Ambassador Instructor, a sponsored program of COABE (Coalition on Adult Basic Education), since 2020. I have worked in partnership with the Department of Correction (DOC), Sheriff’s Offices, and Department of Parole and Probation and Juvenile Courts in multiple counties, developing and implementing positive educational and re-entry programs.

“Passionate” is how I feel about working with our diverse group of students, and am excited to continue doing so into the future. I work closely with students as a team, to assist in connecting them to resources needed to overcome obstacles on their life’s journey.  I strongly believe in empowering students, and encourage them to be self advocates. In doing so, positive results are achieved which affect their chosen paths in education, employability, and community status."

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