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Located in every borough, Referral Centers for High School Alternatives are one-stop guidance centers where students can learn about and get connected to Department of Education (DOE) high school options, High School Equivalency (HSE), and to other supports that will help them graduate. Referral Centers can also provide additional information on the programs and services described in this list.
Learn more about how Referral Centers can help students by:
Pathways to Graduation helps students earn their High School Equivalency (HSE) plus prepares them for college and career options. Students 18 - 21 years old can choose to participate in a full-time or part-time program. Students who are 17 years old may only enroll with parent or guardian permission, though final determinations are considered on a case-by-case basis.Pathways to Graduation is offered at no cost and has many locations throughout the five boroughs.
Living for the Young Family through Education (LYFE) is a NYC Department of Education program whose mission is to foster a generational impact which positively influences the life outcomes of student parents and their children. LYFE provides free high-quality child care to children between the ages of 8 weeks and 3 years of age. LYFE supports student parents through academic guidance and social advocacy, helping student parents stay on track toward graduating from high school or completing their HIgh School equivalency (HSE). LYFE has 36 sites across the 5 boroughs to meet families' needs throughout the DOE.
The School of Cooperative Technical Education, or Co Op Tech, offers 17 different certification courses in a variety of careers from culinary arts to computer networking. The program has a half-day model where students can attend their DOE high school or High School Equivalency (HSE) program for half a day and attend Co Op Tech for the other half of the day.
The Skills Training for Employment Program, or STEP, aims to empower young adults through academic and work-based learning aided by 21st century technology. All students, despite their individual challenges, gain the opportunity to learn in a nurturing and supportive environment to take their first “STEPS” to success. Students attend STEP for a half-day of academic and CTE instruction and off-site internships for the other half-day.
DOE Court Liaisons assist court-involved students, their families, and the agencies that support them so that students experience minimal interruption to their education. They provide current and applicable information that supports court-involved students in achieving their educational goals. Court liaisons are available, reliable, and committed to the academic success of every student in the Courts.
Review the Who I Am brochure to learn more about where DOE court liaisons are located and how they can help students and their families.
East River Academy (ERA) serves students between the ages of 16 and 21 in multiple locations on Rikers Island. The academic curriculum is designed to support students in obtaining either a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma. ERA staff work with students to develop a successful plan for their transition to their next appropriate academic placement.To contact East River Academy, please call (718) 546-6200.
Passages Academy provides educational instruction and counseling for students ages 16 and younger in secure and non-secure detention and placement facilities operated by the Division of Youth and Family Justice of the Administration for Children’s Services. Passages Academy also works with the Office of Children and Family Services to provide academic instruction to students diverted from incarceration. The academic curriculum is designed to help students complete their middle school or high school requirements. Passages develops individual transition plans to ensure student success at the next appropriate academic placement.To contact Passages Academy please email PassagesAcademy@schools.nyc.gov
ReStart Academy provides educational services for students in drug treatment programs or other involuntary and/or temporary settings. The academic curriculum is designed to help students meet their middle school, high school, or High School Equivalency (HSE)requirements. In addition, ReStart develops individual transition plans to ensure student success at the next appropriate academic placement.
The Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE), the largest education provider in New York State, offers Basic Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), High School Equivalency, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes. More information