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Upgrading to Get Into the Post-Secondary Program You Want

Did you leave high school early? Do you need a few more credits or better marks in the core subjects? Did you attend school in a country with different requirements? 

If these scenarios describe your situation, you might want to consider upgrading.

If you are looking at post-secondary programs, you will need specific high school or high school equivalent courses. And for most jobs in Alberta, you will need a minimum of a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma.

If you aren’t sure what high school courses you already have, get a copy of your transcript of your courses and marks.

Know what you want

Before you make plans to upgrade, you should know what you want. 

Make sure you understand the educational requirements of any occupation you are interested in. If you think you know the kind of job you might like, talk with employers to find out what upgrading you need. Or visit OCCinfo to learn about more than 550 different occupations in Alberta.

If you are considering a post-secondary program, talk with the school you are thinking of attending to find out the entrance requirements. If you are over 18, see if the school has a mature student admission policy. You can find out about Alberta’s post-secondary programs and schools at OCCinfo.

Once you know what you need, it’s time to figure out the best option for upgrading.

Know your options for upgrading

There are many different options for upgrading. You could take part-time or full-time courses, or even online courses. You could take high school equivalent courses to complete your high school diploma or to gain admission into specific post-secondary programs.

High school equivalent courses are offered by public and private school boards, colleges, technical institutes and online.

  • Contact your local school board for information.
  • Visit Educational Programs at OCCinfo for information about upgrading programs at colleges and technical institutes. Search using the keyword "upgrading." 
  • Investigate credit and non-credit distance learning options for upgrading at OCCinfo. Enter the search term “upgrading.”

Earn a high school equivalency diploma

You can earn a high school equivalency diploma by using credits you already have or by passing General Educational Development (GED) tests.

Both public and private post-secondary institutions offer GED tests and courses to help students prepare for these tests. Adult learning centres also offer GED preparation courses.

Time to get started

Don’t feel stuck because of some bad grades in high school. Upgrading can help you open doors to a better job and a more rewarding career.

Before enrolling in an upgrading program, be sure to find out if a high school diploma (or a high school equivalency diploma) will help you reach your education and employment goals. Check with the post-secondary program you want to take or the employer you hope to work for.

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