Congratulations on deciding to continue your education. Please use the following resources and if you need additional help, your Probation Officer will be happy to assist you with this important matter. A great place to start is the Massachusetts Adult LIteracy Hotline (800)447-8844. The hotline will help you determine the level of education you need (ABE/ESOL/HiTest) by referring you to a local education and testing center. There is probably a center located at near you at a public school, community center, or community college. You can find the closest center by clicking here (Find a Program).
Adult Basic Education (ABE) can include reading, writing, math, problem solving classes, English language lessons, GED/HiSET preparation, and other educational services for adult learners. ABE also includes English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. In many cases, ABE will prepare learners for more advanced HiSet classes.
If you're interested in pursuing a High School Equivalency (HSE), the HiSET test has replaced the GED test. Please visit the MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education High School Equivalency Testing Program site or the you can visit the dedicated HiSET Website. From either place you can find local education and testing centers that will help you achieve your goal.
Vocational training opportunities frequently change. Your Probation Officer may be able to help you find a program that is right for you. Your local One-Stop Career Center is an excellent place to start. Apprenticeships involve learning a trade through paid work and learning and there are many kinds of Apprenticeship Occupations available in Massachusetts. Information about Union apprenticeships and how to apply can be found here: Massachusetts Labor Unions Apprentice Opportunities. If you are a veteran, additional apprenticeship opportunities can be found here: Veteran Apprenticeship Resources.
For those interested in pursuing a college degree, the best place to start is your local community college. Community Colleges offer affordable, quality educations and some of them have specific programs for ex-offenders. They will help you determine what admissions test is needed, choose a field of study, and apply for financial aid. Remember, there are specific state and federal deadlines for filing Student Aid applications. More information about the FAFSA (Free Application for Sutdent Aid) can be found at Federal Student Aid.