Empowering Learners for Graduation and Life!

The Saint Paul Area Learning Center (ALC) is an alternative K-12 education program for learners 5-20 years old. The ALC's programs are designed to help learners succeed in school and earn their high school diploma. The year round programs offer individualized and learner-centered education in non-traditional settings.
The Area Learning Center has many programs. Age requirements, criteria for eligibility and specific services vary. Most students under the age of 16 must be served in their home school.

To be eligible for ALC services, a student must meet at least one of the following criteria:

• at least one year or more behind in credits (will not graduate with their class)

at least two grades below expected performance on a standardized achievement test

pregnant or is a parent

has been assessed chemically dependent and is now in recovery

has an assessed mental health issue

has been a victim of physical or sexual abuse

has experienced homelessness within the past six months

speaks English as a second language or has limited English proficiency


Note: Special education students are best served in the traditional middle/junior and senior high schools where complete services are available. Alternative Education is not designed nor staffed for special education services.


 ALC History

Between 1991 and the present the Saint Paul Secondary ALC programs has grown from 1 location with 11 staff members and 127 students to the current 11 sites plus extended day programs that serve nearly 3500 students, and summer programs that serve over 7000 students annually.

The Saint Paul Area Learning Center is today a nationally recognized model for providing educational services leading to high school graduation for at-risk and underserved students.  Each school year hundreds of students from Saint Paul and other districts are enrolled as full time ALC students in one of seven diploma granting programs.  In addition, hundreds more earn credits they need for graduation through extended-day ALC programs at Unidale, Evening High School, and in their own high schools, thus enabling them to graduate on time.  All ALC coursework is standards driven, focusing on providing opportunities to complete the current standards that are part of the Minnesota Academic Standards.