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
Fall 2020 - Session 1
August 24 - October 16
August 17 - 21, 2020
Fall 2020 - Session 2
October 26 - December 11
October 19 - 23, 2020
Spring 2021 - Session 1
January 11 - March 5
January 4 - 8, 2021
Spring 2021 - Session 2
March 15 - May 28
March 8 - 12, 2021
Summer 2021 To be announced


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: