High School Equivalency Diploma

We all start somewhere. Northeast Iowa Community College meets you where you are and helps you reach your education goals. Earning your high school equivalency diploma (HSED, formerly known as GED) opens the door to new job opportunities and career training. Classes are tuition-free and offered online and students have the option to attend live or access recorded sessions to learn on their own time.

“I was really determined to start college courses and I needed to pass the HSED. Now I plan to earn my associate’s degree at Northeast Iowa Community College, then transfer to Clarke University for their social work program.” – Erika Jett

Getting Started

The first step to earning your HSED is to attend an orientation, where students will meet with a success coach or instructor to discuss your goals and complete enrollment steps.

TermOrientation Dates
Summer 2021
July 12 - August 13
June 28 - July 9, 2021
Fall 2021 - Session 1
August 23 - October 8
August 16 - 20, 2021
Fall 2021 - Session 2
October 18 - December 10
October 11 - 15, 2021
Spring 2022 - Session 1
January 10 - March 4
December 13 -17, 2021
January 3 - 7, 2022
Spring 2022 - Session 2
March 14 - May 6
March 7 - 11, 2022
Spring 2022 - Session 3
May 16 - June 24
May 9 - 13, 2022


Class attendance is a mandatory requirement of the Department of Education in order for students to be eligible for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). Classes are online with face-to-face classes offered at the Dubuque Center.

It is important to check-in with your success coach or instructor to work through any barriers to advance your education and achieve your career goals. Success coaches and instructors are available to meet with students via phone, Zoom or face-to-face by appointment.

Take the HiSET

After checking your progress and passing practice tests, it's time for the final test. Discuss with your instructor how to prepare for the test, the testing fees and when to schedule an appointment with the testing centers in Calmar and Dubuque.

The HiSET consist of five areas:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Contact the testing center to schedule your testing session and learn more about requirements and fees.

Be a Graduate

Congratulations! You completed classes and passed the HiSET. Graduation ceremonies are typically held in June on the Calmar campus and at the Dubuque Center.

After earning your high school diploma you can: