Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



College & Workforce Development Committee

HB 1903

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Establishing the Washington adult diploma and workforce training program.

Sponsors: Representatives Mead, Van Werven, Pettigrew, Griffey, Blake, Schmick, Orcutt, Stanford, Appleton, Doglio, Shewmake, Davis, Valdez, Santos, Pollet and Macri.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Creates the Washington Adult Diploma and Workforce Training Program (Program) to assist adults with obtaining high school diplomas, increasing employability, and developing career and technical skills.

  • Requires the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to select providers to provide the education and training for the Program.

  • Compensates Program providers based on a pay-for-performance model.

Hearing Date: 2/13/19

Staff: Megan Mulvihill (786-7304).


High School Diplomas.

A person may receive a high school diploma (diploma) by graduating from a public or private high school, by completing a High School 21+ program offered at a community or technical college, or by earning an associate degree first and then requesting a high school diploma from the college.

High School 21+ is a competency-based diploma available to adults aged 21 years and older. Students must demonstrate competency in reading, writing, and math in the context of science, history, government, occupational studies, and digital literacy. Students can demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways, including: a prior learning portfolio; high school and college transcripts; and work, life, and military experience.

High School Equivalency Certificate.

A high school equivalency certificate is a certificate issued jointly by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent). It indicates that the holder has attained standard scores at or above the minimum proficiency level on the high school equivalency test. In Washington, the General Education Development (GED) test is the high school equivalency test. The GED consists of four content areas: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science, and social studies. The State Board of Education adopts rules governing the eligibility of persons aged 16 to 18 to take a test and earn a high school equivalency certificate.

Adult Diploma Programs.

Michigan, Ohio, and Utah have implemented adult diploma programs in which adults who have aged out of the high school system can attend training to earn both a state-issued high school diploma and industry-recognized skills. The education and training are provided by third-party entities who are compensated based on pay-for-performance model.

Summary of Bill:

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) must establish the Washington Adult Diploma and Workforce Training Program (Program). The purpose of the Program is to assist adults with obtaining a high school diploma, increasing their employability, and developing career and technical skills.

The SBCTC must maintain a list of approved providers who may deliver the education and training for the Program. Each year, the SBCTC must issue a Request for Qualifications from providers and within 30 days select providers for the approved provider list. The SBCTC must select providers based on criteria such as experience providing dropout recovery services, ability to provide academic skill intake assessment, ability to provide remediation coursework, and ability to provide career pathways coursework.

Providers selected for the list maintain their status as an approved provider unless they fail to meet performance standards. Approved providers who are selected to deliver the Program education and training must begin enrolling students no later than 30 days after they are selected.

Providers who are chosen to participate must be compensated based on performance milestones achieved for each enrolled adult student. Milestones include the following:

Each month, participating providers must submit invoices to the SBCTC no later than the tenth calendar day itemizing the performance milestones achieved in the previous month. The SBCTC must review the monthly invoices and compensate providers accordingly.

Providers must submit annual reports to the SBCTC by July 15th each year on performance metrics. The report must include the total number of:

The SBCTC must review the performance metrics submitted by each provider to ensure the provider is achieving the minimum program performance standards. Each provider must achieve the following annual performance standards:

  1. A minimum 50 percent graduation rate; and

  2. A cost per graduate of $7,000 or less.

Any provider who does not meet the performance standards must be placed on probationary status for the remainder of the year. A provider who fails to meet the performance standards for two consecutive years must be removed from the approved provider list.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on 2/12/19.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.