A mature student, for Alberta High School Diploma purposes, is one who, as of September 1 of the current school year, is

  • 19 years of age or older; or
  • the holder of a previously awarded high school diploma from the province of Alberta, or an equivalent high school diploma from a jurisdiction acceptable to the Minister

Mature student status is granted effective September 1 for the subsequent school year. The above criteria are to be satisfied prior to September 1.

The privileges afforded by the granting of mature student status are not applied retroactively to a student’s completed coursework on file with Alberta Education. The application of mature student status is conditional upon the completion of new coursework subsequent to September 1 of the school year in which the status becomes effective.

If a dispute or uncertainty as to whether or not a person qualifies for mature student status still exists after all avenues of appeal have been explored at the jurisdictional or school authority level, cases may be submitted, in writing, to the Special Cases and Accommodations Team. For contact information, see Appendix 1.

A mature student is eligible to enrol in a course at the senior high school level or to write a diploma examination without having completed the required prerequisite courses.

The following prerequisite courses, however, must be completed by all students, including mature students:

  • Agriculture Safety (AGR3000) prior to enrolling in any Green Certificate Program courses
  • any post-secondary institution (PSI) dual credit course prior to enrolling in the next or higher-level PSI dual credit course
  • Workplace Readiness 10-4 prior to enrolling in Work Experience 15, 25, 35 or Workplace Practicum 20-4, 30-4 courses
  • Workplace Safety Systems (HCS3000) prior to enrolling in any of the following:
    • Career Internship 10
    • Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) courses
    • Work Experience 15, 25, 35

A mature student may earn senior high school credits in non-diploma examination courses after successfully completing

  • courses offered in a regular accredited school
  • courses offered under extension programs
  • courses offered by a school or school authority engaging in online learning or print-based distance education programs

A mature student may earn senior high school credits in diploma examination courses by successfully completing course instruction and the diploma examination, or by successfully challenging the diploma examination.

A mature student who has achieved a standing of 50% or higher in a senior high school course, by any of the alternatives noted above, will automatically be awarded credits by Alberta Education for the prerequisites in that course sequence. The credits awarded for each prerequisite course will be the same as the number of credits achieved for the course completed. However, a mature student who completes a lower-level sequence and transfers to the highest course in a higher-level sequence will receive credits only for the courses completed. For example, a mature student completing Social Studies 10-2, 20-2, 30-2 and Social Studies 30-1 will receive 20 credits. See Credits for Waived Prerequisites, second example, in the Awarding Course Credits section.

The provision to automatically award credits to mature students for prerequisite courses does not apply to

  • Agriculture Safety (AGR3000)
  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS)
  • Dual credit, dual enrolled courses (courses that begin with the PSI prefix)
  • English as a second language courses
  • Green Certificate Program courses
  • locally developed courses, with the exception of locally developed language arts or language and culture courses
  • Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) courses
  • senior high K&E occupational courses, including Workplace Readiness 10-4, Workplace Practicum 20-4 and Workplace Practicum 30-4
  • Special Projects 10–20–30
  • Work Experience 15–25–35
  • Workplace Safety Systems (HCS3000)

Mature students are eligible to receive the Alberta High School Diploma or the Certificate of High School Achievement upon completing the specified requirements. They are not, however, required to complete Physical Education 10 or Career and Life Management (CALM).

Many school authorities offer comprehensive programs for mature students in both credit and non-credit areas. Interested mature students should consult their school authority for details about such programs.

Mature students who enrol in senior high school courses may earn the Alberta High School Diploma under the current diploma requirements. See Alberta High School Diploma Requirements in this section.

Mature students who have not previously attended senior high school are expected to meet the current requirements, except for Physical Education 10 and CALM, to earn an Alberta High School Diploma.

Mature students who entered senior high school prior to 1994–1995 may meet the current requirements or the requirements that were in effect the year they entered high school. Appendix 2 contains a chart that outlines the requirements for years prior to 1994–1995.

Principals will contact Student Records when a student requests programming to meet requirements for years prior to 1994–1995. For contact information, see Appendix 1.

For more information, see Grade 10 Students in the Student Placement and Promotion section.