Referral Centers for High School Alternatives

There is a Referral Center for High School Alternatives in each borough to help students find their best pathway to a diploma or the high school equivalency (formerly the GED) exam, and beyond. Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, and other Referral Center staff are present to help Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on days that schools are open.

Referral Centers can help you:

Referral Centers for High School Alternatives
  • Explore all possible paths to a high school diploma, or enroll in a high school equivalency program;
  • Learn about your rights as a NYC Department of Education student;
  • Understand your high school transcript;
  • Get referrals for childcare, social work, drug treatment and housing;
  • Learn about other programs that District 79 offers.

Who Should Visit or Call Referral Center

You should contact a Referral Center if you are 21 years old or younger, live in New York City and don’t have a high school diploma, but want to continue your education and need additional support to re-connect with school.

If you are over 21 and interested in high school equivalency programs, education opportunities, or English language instruction, contact the Office of Adult and Continuing Education.

What to Bring

Please bring a photo ID and your most recent transcript, if you have them. If you have a copy of your individualized education plan (IEP), bring that too. Students who are 17 years old will need a parent or guardian present to enroll in a new school or Pathways to Graduation (P2G).  17 year olds choosing to enroll in P2G will also need school administrator approval.

If you do not have a photo ID, ask the School Safety Agent at the entrance to call the Referral Center so that someone may accompany you to the center.

Center Hours

All Referral Centers are open schooldays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students and families are encouraged to visit on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings to hear an overview session and meet with a guidance counselor or social worker. Students who choose to pursue a high school equivalency diploma will be asked to return on a Tuesday or Thursday to take a placement survey test.

For more information

  • Read/Print our Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact the Referral Center in your borough
  • If you can't get through to a Referral Center, contact the District 79 Office of Student Support Services
  • Visit District 79's webpage to learn about other supports available to help students graduate high school or earn a high school equivalency diploma