Most of us would love to keep all our options open.
Unfortunately, keeping our options open usually involves a
cost. As an adult, you can choose to get your high school
graduation in 3 ways: the GED, the Adult Dogwood, and the Regular
Dogwood. They each come with different costs and benefits.
The costs involve not just money, but also time and
effort. For many adults, time is a precious commodity
obtained only through sacrificing and compromising other aspects of our
lives. The time we spend on education is time we are not earning money
or time not spent with our family.
The benefits are numerous and include the right to
call yourself a Canadian high school graduate, enhanced job
opportunities, entry to college or university, and the enrichment in
your knowledge, skills, and confidence that comes with
Here, as with life in general, our choices involve
compromises. The GED promises a relatively quick and easy graduation.
The down side is that not as many post-secondary options will be open
to you. The Adult Dogwood involves more work, but also opens more doors
– especially if you graduate with the right courses. The regular
Dogwood is usually not the best option for adults unless you are
missing only a few courses from high school.
What is the GED? It stands for General
Educational Development and is the adult equivalency diploma that
allows the typical adult to save at least 500 hours of course work. For
students in our program, it might involve as little as 100 hours of
course work after completing our grade 10 English and Grade 9 Math
Students are required to pass 5 separate tests
conducted by the Ministry of Education over a Friday and Saturday. The
nearest test centre is at Douglas College. You can register there a
month before the test dates with a fee of $60, and we will help get you
ready for the test. If you don’t pass all 5 the first time, you get to
keep the ones you passed and rewrite only the ones you missed.
The 5 tests are:
English Reading and Grammar,
Science Reading Comprehension, and
Social Studies Reading Comprehension.
Our English 10 course is already a very good
preparation for the first 2 tests. The last 2 tests, Science and Social
Studies, are both based on reading comprehension skills and do not
really test previously learnt subject content. If you are a
good reader, you should do well. The Math section does not require much
more beyond what you would have covered in Math 9.
If you have obtained good scores in the English 10
and Math 9 tests, spending 100 hours going through a good GED
preparation book should get you ready to write the test. How long is
100 hours of study? Does 2 hours a day for 2 months seem
reasonable? Here’s the math: 60 days x 2 hours =
120 hours. You can even afford to take 10 days off!
Most institutions will accept the GED diploma as
the high school graduation requirement and further specify that you
need some additional courses that are pre-requisites for the program
you plan to join. For example, nursing and health science options will
normally require a Biology 12 credit as well as the English 12 and
Principals of Math 11 credits.
Even if you decide that you prefer to do the Adult
Dogwood, it is still a good idea to pick up the GED diploma along the
way as insurance in case an unexpected change in your life prevents you
from continuing your studies. It doesn't really require any additional
work beyond what you are doing for your Adult Dogwood.
With the Adult Dogwood, you need to get 5 courses
from Grades 11 and 12.
Only 2 of the 5 courses can be from Grade 11: either Accounting
11/Principals of Math 11/Essentials of Math 11 and/or Socials 11/Civics
11. The other courses must be Grade 12 courses. However, unless you
choose your courses carefully, you will probably still not get into
many college or university programs.
Typically, most colleges and universities need you
to have English 12 and Principles of Math 11. To get your Principles of
Math 11, you need to first do the Introduction to Math 11 course, and
for English 12, the normal pre-requisites are Communications 12 and
In our centre, this can take an additional 800
hours of study beyond your grade 10 courses. This might seem like a lot
of time; but, if you are studying full-time, it is possible to do this
in 6 months. Hopefully, the pay-off is that it helps get you
started in your dream career.
There will also be major shifts in your perspective
when you are doing the course work. The Principles of Math 11 course
requires you to use all the math skills you have ever learnt and to use
clear, logical thinking to solve increasingly complex and extended
Our English courses will prove to be an eye-opener
– especially if you are not Canadian born. An analysis of
plot, character and points of view will lead you to re-examine how you
view things in the future. Get ready for a more enlightened,
considerate, and mindful new you!
The enrichment you get through education is
priceless, and not everything can be brought into a cost-benefit
analysis. However, many of us have pressing real-life needs that have
to be met fairly quickly. Think about what you can afford,
figure out where you want to go, and we’ll try our best to help you get
there – whatever you decide. Good luck!
information, click on the links below:
GED B.C. Ministry of Education Policies
Adult Dogwood Information