Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:


General Education Certificate

In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that requires local school boards and local community colleges to implement an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment with one of the community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. A pathway to the General Education Certificate was developed for Northern Virginia, showing students how they can complete the first year of college while completing their high school requirements. The agreement specifies the credit available for dual enrollment courses and Advanced Placement courses with qualifying exam scores of three or higher. IB coursework may also be used as an option with the number of courses accepted depending on the score of five or better. Twenty-five percent of the certificate must be taken through dual enrollment and the other 75 percent can be completed through successful AP or IB coursework.

View the General Education Certificate Pathway

Students who are interested can contact their school counselor to get a copy of the pathway that is specific to their school district. Please note that it is possible to complete even more of the second year coursework if the student plans to take coursework during the summer of their rising junior year and through the completion of high school. If the student is planning to complete the General Education Certificate while still in high school, they should contact the Office of Dual Enrollment to receive more information.