Free state program to help adults earn their high school diploma

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A state program is assisting adults land better jobs and make Indiana more attractive to businesses by helping them earn their high school diploma.

It is free and only for adults 22 and up. The program is made possible by Governor Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet and the online education company Graduation Alliance.

Adults will have online access to academic coaching and resources to graduate. Chief development officer of Graduation Alliance Greg Harp said 305 Hoosiers have earned their diploma and there’s a list of industry credentials adults can also earn. Industry credentials are aligned with high demand jobs in Indiana like logistics, manufacturing, coding and healthcare. Harp added that 54 adults have received credentials.

“A student with a high school diploma makes $270,000 more over their lifetime than those who don’t have a high school diploma, so that’s obviously key,” Harp said. “It gives you a lot more flexibility. You’re much more likely to get a sustainable wage job that has benefits such as healthcare, 401k, ect.”

Lawrence Little told News 8 that he used to be homeless and received his diploma in December 2020. He now works as a patient rep at IU Health.

“I would work a job for a few weeks and I have to quit because I didn’t bring in my diploma or they can’t pull up my transcripts and I got really tired of that,” said Little. “In this day and age, you need that piece of paper.”

The program also teaches financial literacy so adults know how to budget once they receive a job and a paycheck. Harp mentioned that this is a program that has to be funded every budget year. The Indiana General Assembly is making that decision at this time.