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About Our Programs

The purpose of our program is to:

  • Provide a non-traditional educational program to meet the unique needs of our students
  • Increase the number of students who successfully complete their high school diploma or earn their GED
  • Promote the development of respect and tolerance of others
  • Assist students in developing personal accountability, global thinking, problem-solving, and other important life skills​

  • Provide knowledge and experience to function successfully in the world of work through career development activities
  • Help students identify and access needed public/social services

Graduation Requirements

Requirements for Dowagiac Pathfinder Alternative students are the same for students at Union High School, who must meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements.

Graduation Ceremony

A time to celebrate the achievement in earning a high school diploma/ GED takes place each June.   A Dowagiac Pathfinder student who earns a high school diploma can walk at Union High School’s ceremony ONLY when his/her graduation class is graduating that same year and as long as the student has successfully met all the requirements prior to graduation ceremony. All Pathfinders students can walk at a ceremony held specifically for our Pathfinders graduates.

Schools of Choice

The Dowagiac Union School District participates in Schools of Choice. 

When do we meet?

Pathfinders follows the Dowagiac union Schools calendar. Our daily schedule provides flexible hours for instruction.   Day and evening hours are available for services in Adult Education.  Odysseyware can be accessed anywhere there is WiFi/internet connection.

Where do we meet?

Pathfinders is located at 501 N. Paul Street, in Dowagiac,on the curve where Paul Street meets Prairie Ronde Street. 

How does it work? 

You learn using an online software curriculum called OdysseyWare. High school credit can be achieved through a full curriculum correlated to Michigan
Merit Curriculum standards in grades 9-12. Additional support from certified teachers is given to students in a traditional classroom setting, at least once per week, to introduce and review concepts and enhance critical thinking through projects and group discussion. 

I am over 21 years old, but I want to earn my high school diploma. Is that possible?

Yes! We will need your transcript from your former school to help us determine what credits you must earn according to current Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements.

How do I get an application and what do I do with it after it’s completed?

To begin your path to a Dowagiac Union Schools High School Diploma or to earning your GED, you will need to go through an orientation where a registration and interview process must take place.  Our orientation will give you the opportunity to meet staff members, walk you through the registration form and receive information about each program (Alternative and Adult Education).   

A one-on-one interview will be scheduled to give you the chance to ask additional questions, and to gain the information you need to help you establish your personal educational goal.  If, after orientation, you are interested in moving forward in obtaining your GED, make sure you have some time to take several pretests.

How long will it take to get my GED or high school diploma?

Students learn and retain knowledge at different rates.  Therefore, it is impossible to accurately know how long it will take.  Some students will be able to complete the GED or the high school diploma in a matter of a couple of months while for others, it may take a couple of years.

How much time will I have to put in?

The more regularly a student attends class, the better he or she will retain the information. The more regularly a student attends class, he or she will gain more assistance from our certified teacher. Therefore, the possibility of earning the GED or the high school diploma in a shorter amount of time increases. 

Can I study from home online?
High school credit can be achieved through Odysseyware. Lessons can be completed at home. Tests are required to be taken on site.  


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