Cadets on P.E.I. are being sent letters informing them of their options for earning a high school credit. (CBC)

Starting this fall P.E.I. teenagers who are members of the cadets will be able to apply the experience for a high school credit, and the province is looking at giving credits for other extracurricular activities as well.

About 500 Island teenagers are members of the army, air or sea cadets. Jim Spears, president of the P.E.I. branch of the Army Cadet League of Canada told CBC News Tuesday the league the province have been working with the Education Department for a number of years on the plan.

"I feel very positive about it," said Spears.

"I think we've got the program right after a number of years of looking at other programs across Canada."

Cadets will have to put in 225 hours for a credit. On average that will take about a year.


The extracurricular credits will not be an easy option for students, says Carrie St. Jean, president of the P.E.I. Teachers Federation. (CBC)

The cadet credit is just the start of an effort by the Education Department to recognize learning that goes on outside the classroom. An advisory committee has been set up to oversee expansion of the program.  Future years may see credits for other things such as music, athletics and arts.

Sports PEI is asking the province to grant credit to students who meet high standards in sports, and young people who earn the Duke of Edinburgh's Award or study music through the Royal Conservatory may also qualify.

Students who think they'll earn an easy credit will be disappointed. The P.E.I. Teachers Federation is on the advisory committee, and they intend to set a high standard.

"They're not going to rubber stamp it. There will have to be value in it and merit," said federation president Carrie St. Jean.

"I feel the committee will be very capable of making sure it's not going to be for bird courses."

Cadets are now receiving written notice informing them of their option to earn a high school credit.