I want to go back to school — where do I start?
If you need to complete your high school education, there are two basic ways to go – you can pass the exam for a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma (called the TASC, formerly called the GED) or you can enroll in the National External Diploma Program. Both are free and require that you have solid reading and math skills. Find our which program is right for you and how you can prepare by attending a free HSE Connect! orientation. These are offered monthly at five public libraries. A full schedule of orientations is linked here. Want to get started right now? See what we have ready for you to study on your own on the FirstFind.org website. These resources can help you improve your skills – from basic math to more advanced math, reading comprehension and understanding how to read charts and data, to writing.
Westchester County has over 45 graduate, undergraduate and vocational schools in Westchester County offering over 300 subjects. To find out more about local educational options, how to select a school, and how to pay for it, go to your local public library or start with the online resources listed at FirstFind.org..
Employment outlooks for many trades are looking up. Programs are offered by specific trade unions as well as vocational schools. In most cases, you need to train and/or apprentice as well as pass a licensing test. For a list of vocational schools go to this list and drop down the menu that says “Select a School”. Also look at our page on places where you can get training. Another good starting point is the SUNY Educational Opportunity Center; complete their form to get more information.
Want to improve your computer skills on your own? Many of the larger libraries, offer a regular schedule of computer classes that cover everything from the basics of email to how to format a resume using Microsoft Word. Call or view their online calendar to find out what is available. A listing of local libraries and their phone numbers and websites is available at this link.
If you can read and carve out some time for yourself, you can learn without going to school. And you don’t have to do it alone. Libraries provide you with free access to books, magazines, and classes (these can be group instruction at the library, with a one-to-one tutor, or done online using a computer in the library or at home). To learn more about what libraries offer and to find the one closest to you, read what’s here. Learning also happens when you expose yourself to arts and culture wherever it is taking place. See our Culture page for examples of what’s available in Westchester County; we call out what’s free and low cost, and how plan your transportation and keep track of what’s coming up.