Alternative Schools and GED Programs

  1. What is the Office of Postsecondary Readiness and District 79?

    The NYC Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness and District 79 offer different options for students who are struggling in a traditional high school environment. Some programs focus on academics, while others combine job training with educational services. Students who might benefit from an alternative program include those who:
    • are overage and under-credited
    • need intensive programs to catch up on credits
    • have dropped out of school and wish to re-enroll
    • want to learn about career options
    • want to pursue a GED
    • need to attend an evening program because of work or other obligations
    Parents and students should speak to a guidance counselor at the student’s current school in order to gain access to an alternative program. Students do not have to be regularly attending the current school to speak to the guidance counselor. Students can also go to the District 79 referral center in their borough. A list of referral centers can be found at: (scroll down towards the bottom and click on the icon that says “Referral Centers for High School Alternatives”).

  2. What are Transfer High Schools?

    Transfer High Schools (also known as Alternative Schools) are small, academically focused schools. They are designed to re-engage students who have dropped out or are overage and under-credited for their grade. The goal of a Transfer High School is to provide students with a high school diploma. Each Transfer High School has its own admission criteria, and most have an age and credit requirement. For a list of transfer schools and their admissions criteria go to:

  3. What is a Young Adult Borough Center?

    Young Adult Borough Centers are evening academic programs. They are designed for students who have adult responsibilities that prevent them from attending school during the day. Students must be at least 17.5 years old and must have been on the roster of a high school for four or more years. T hey must have at least 17 credits. For a list of Young Adult Borough Centers go to:

  4. What are GED Programs?

    District 79 offers programs to help students prepare for the General Educational Development (GED) exam. Students must be at least 17 years old to enroll in a GED program. Students are also given a screening test called the TABE to determine whether they should be placed in a basic literacy program, pre-GED program or GED-prep program. For information about GED programs, go to:

  5. What is a Learning to Work Program?

    Learning to Work is a program that offers career exploration and job training at some Young Adult Borough Centers, transfer high schools, and GED programs. For information, go to:

  6. What is Co-Op Tech?

    Co-Op Tech (School of Cooperative Technical Education) offers half-day career and technical training for students who are already taking courses at another NYC Department of Education school or program. Co-Op Tech offers 20 different courses, including welding, carpentry, plumbing, automotive repair, culinary arts, salon services and child care. To be eligible, students must be between the ages of 16-21, have a high school diploma or be enrolled in a school or GED program, and have a signed application by their high school counselor. For more information go to:

  7. What is Re-Start?

    Re-Start provides educational services for students who are in drug treatment programs or other involuntary/temporary settings. For a list of Re-Start sites, go to:

  8. What is the Living for the Young Family Through Education (LYFE) Program?

    LYFE programs provide childcare and referral services for pregnant and parenting students who are currently enrolled in a NYC Department of Education school. Each of the 38 LYFE centers has a social worker. A student does not have to attend a school with a LYFE center to be able to use the LYFE services. For information about the LYFE program, go to:

(January 12, 2012)