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Parents, businesses and institutions of higher learning are all interested in knowing the status of a home education or privately tutored diploma and whether it is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Additionally, there is often confusion over what is or is not a home education program.


This Home Education and Private Tutoring section of the website deals with the status of each of the options about which there often are questions.


Cyber Schools

The only online schools that may grant a diploma that is recognized by the Department are Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools; these are public schools. If the online school is not a Pennsylvania cyber charter school, then the cyber school must operate within a home education program and PDE does not recognize the cyber school’s diploma (although some institutions may). However, a home education program utilizing the cyber school's curriculum may obtain a PDE recognized diploma.


Each year, the list of Pennsylvania's cyber charter schools may change and should be checked.


Umbrella Schools

An "umbrella school” is an alternative source of education which oversees the homeschooling of children to fulfill the requirements of a state government. In Pennsylvania, it includes schools that are neither public schools nor "brick-and-mortar" private schools. These include such things as correspondence courses, online (“cyber”) schools or any type of distance-learning school (e.g., webinar). Anyone using curriculum from such a source must operate as a home education program with all its legal requirements.


PDE does not recognize the umbrella school’s diploma (although some institutions may). However, a home education program utilizing the umbrella school's curriculum may obtain a PDE-recognized diploma.


Privately Tutored Students

There is no direct path to graduation for a privately-tutored student; hence, there are no graduation requirements. Students that are privately tutored may take the General Educational Development (GED) tests and then obtain a Commonwealth Secondary School diploma (see the following “Other Options” below).


Home Education Programs (Homeschooling)

Occasionally the Department is asked to verify the home education program diplomas of individual students. While the Department does not provide or track individual diplomas of students participating in home education programs, we have granted authority to certain organizations to provide home education program diplomas. These organizations also are required to keep records of the diplomas they grant and may be contacted for verification of any student.


Some parents choose to provide a parent-issued diploma rather than a PDE-recognized diploma or a diploma from an umbrella school. There is nothing that prevents a parent from exercising this option.


Other Options

If the home education program has not associated with one of the organizations that have authority to grant a PDE-recognized diploma (see the accompanying table), there are other options:


- Request a letter from the superintendent of the district of residence stating that the student has fulfilled all the graduation requirements of the law for a home education program. See 24 P.S. § 13 1327.1 (d).  


- Request the superintendent of the student’s district to complete a PHEAA form or send a letter to PHEAA for any student who had completed the graduation requirements for a home education program. The superintendent is required to do this for any home education program that lacks the requisite accreditation (i.e., any program that is not affiliated with one of the originations that are authorized to grant a PDE-recognized diploma). See 22 Pa Code § 121.21 (c) and 24 P.S. § 13 1327.1 (d).


- Take the GED tests (both for homeschooled and privately-tutored students). See 22 Pa Code § 4.72. PDE provides online information regarding the GED tests


- Request a Commonwealth Secondary School diploma (both for homeschooled and privately-tutored students). Contact the Bureau of Adult Basic & Literacy Education (ABLE) at 717-787-5532. The Commonwealth diploma is awarded for either successfully completing the GED tests or by satisfactory completion of a minimum of 1 full year or 30 semester hours of study at an accredited institution of postsecondary education. See 22 Pa Code § 4.72.


Diploma-granting Organizations

This table lists the diploma-granting organizations that currently are authorized by the Department to grant home education diplomas for Pennsylvania residents only. They may not grant a home education diploma to anyone who is not a resident of Pennsylvania. Additionally, they only may grant diplomas to students who have submitted a homeschool affidavit to their superintendent of schools.


These organizations reapply every three years and new organizations are added, so this list may change from year-to-year.



PDE Approved Home Ed Diploma-Granting Organizations


Email; Website

Accel Community Programs

Veronica Manley

(610) 622-3032


45 E. Baltimore Ave.

Lansdowne, PA 19050

(email on website)




Bridgeway Academy
(a division of Essential Learning Institute)

Jessica L. Parnell

(800) 863-1474


334 Second Street;

Catasauqua, PA 18032




Buxmont Christian Educational Institute Inc

Terry L. Johns

(215) 723-7226


146 W. Broad Street;

Telford, PA 18969




Erie County Homeschoolers
(Erie County Homeschoolers Diploma Association)

Edi Thomas
(570) 967-0951


9129 State Road;

Cranesville, PA  16410




Mason Dixon Homeschoolers Association

Mary Hudzinski

(717) 762-3357


32 West Main Street #5;

Waynesboro, PA  17268




Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency

Dr. Howard B. Richman
(724) 783-6512


105 Richman Lane;

Kittanning, PA  16201




Susquehanna Valley Homeschool Diploma Program, Inc.

Margaret T. Matthews,

(717) 566-3573


484 Pleasant View Road;

Hummelstown, PA  17036




The Lancaster Center for Classical Studies
(The Classical Foundation of Lancaster)

Wilson Brown

(717) 397-3223


910 Marietta Avenue;

Lancaster, PA  17603


Upattinas School and Resource Center

Kim Coffin

(610) 458-5138


429 Greenridge Road

Glenmoore, PA 19343




Valley Forge Baptist Home Education Association

Karen Melchior

(610) 948-8100


616 S. Trappe Road;

Collegeville, PA 19426





Here is listing of previous diploma-granting institutions. If the student graduated within the dates of operation, they still would have a valid diploma.


PDE Approved Home Ed Diploma-Granting Organizations

 (Expired Authorization - but could assign diplomas for the dates indicated)



Alethia Learning Center

5/18/1999 to 5/18/2002

Richard G. Patton




68 Bertolet School Road

Spring City, PA 19475

Teen Travel Foundation of Western PA


(866) 463-9081





322 Mall Blvd. #165

Monroeville, PA 15146



Becoming a Diploma Provider

An organization serving homeschooling families may apply to PDE for recognition to grant home education diplomas by completing the Home Education Association Application for Recognition 


 Updated: 1/18/2012

For additional information, please contact:

Suzanne Tallman |
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.214.8212
RA-home-education@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us