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Schools, Programs, & Services

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.

  • Click here for the Pathways to Graduation site list.
  • To enroll, candidates must first visit a Referral Center.
  • For more information, visit the Pathways to Graduation website and review the Pathways to Graduation FAQs: English.



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. 

  • Co Op Tech’s main campus is located on 96th and 1st Avenue and has off-site locations in Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx.
  • To enroll, DOE high school, High School Equivalency (HSE), and post-graduate students between 18 and 21 years old may speak with a guidance counselor at their school, staff at a Referral Center, or staff at Co Op Tech.
  • For more information, visit the Co Op Tech website and review the Co Op Tech Brochure.

Services and Programs for Court-involved Youth

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 ReStart site list contains the names, addresses, and contact information for all 24 locations.
  • To enroll, students must first be admitted to a host agency’s program.
  • The agency contact person should be contacted directly to determine a young person's eligibility.

If you are 21 years of age or older...

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