G.E.D. - Adult Basic Education

There are many options for adults at all levels to upgrade their education both in classroom settings or one on one with a tutor. In some programs there are evening options in addition to daytime offerings. We can help you to decide which program is best for you by assessing your educational level before you start. All of the programs are free.


The GED, or General Education Diploma,  is an international high school equivalency-testing program for adults. It is a series of five (5) tests that require the understanding of broad concepts and general knowledge, rather than the ability to remember facts, details or precise definitions. VCLA’s GED program is designed for people who are working or looking for work and do not have time to commit to full time study. There are classes in the evenings as well as during the day.

Usually adult learners need to be reading at a high school level in order to be successful on the GED test.

If you are trying to decide whether the GED or the Adult High School Diploma is the best pathway for you, it is sometimes best to think about where you are going next. Generally speaking, employers accept the GED as being equivalent to a high school diploma, and because learners can prepare in the evenings and around their busy work lives it is often the preferred route. If you plan to go on to college or university, it is best to consult with the post secondary institution so that you know they will accept the GED as a prerequisite for the program you are interested in.

For more information about the differences between the GED and the adult high school diploma, click here. 

While there is no cost to prepare for the test with VCLA, there is a cost to write the test. For more information about the cost of the GED, and to download an application to write the test, click here.

Beginning in January 2014 the GED test will be written online. If you have written the test since 2001 but have not passed all of the exams, you will still only have to complete those tests you have yet to pass when you write again. (PLEASE NOTE: this is likely to change in 2015 when the exam will be updated. After this time it is expected that those who have not fully completed the GED will be required to rewrite all of the tests.) For more information about the GED, call the GED office at 679-6203. 

 Adult Learning Program (ALP)

In the Adult Learning Program (ALP) education system in Nova Scotia, there are four (4) levels instead of twelve grades. VCLA offers Levels I and II of the Adult Learning Program as part of the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL). Once you have completed Level II, you can either attend the Adult High School in New Minas, or the Nova Scotia Community College in Kentville or Middleton to take levels III and IV leading to completion of the Nova Scotia High School Diploma for Adults. Some learners who complete Level II may also choose to stay with VCLA and work towards the GED.

Adult learning classes can be quite different from classes that you may have taken at school in your younger days. There are all ages of adults, and all levels. Typically the class sizes are smaller (five to twelve learners). You do not have to put up your hand to go to the bathroom. You work on the things you need to work on to get to your goal. You are treated like an adult.

VCLA offers ALP classes at two locations in the Valley – 49 Cornwallis Street in Kenville and NSCC in Middleton.

One-on-one Tutoring Program

The one-on-one tutoring program matches adult learners with volunteer tutors.  Learners can be matched with a tutor when extra help is needed to catch up with class work, when the learner is geographically remote from the nearest class, or when the needs are too individualized for classroom study (i.e. a learner is studying for a specific entrance exam for work or further study). Among the many learners who come and study with a tutor, there are apprentices who come to our program to get help when they are doing their "blocks" (completing the class-based portion of their apprenticeship), and we also see people wanting to get their Class I or Class III trucking license.

To access the one-on-one tutoring program you must be a responsible learner who is able to keep his/her commitment to the volunteer tutor, to show up for lessons, and complete any work that is required between sessions.

The one-on-one tutoring program is a program that works with all of the programs at VCLA. In other words, tutors work with learners who take part in ALP classes, the GED program, the English as a second language program, etc.