Next Step Learning Center offers free education programs for youth and adults. To be eligible for services, you must be at least 17 years old and be able to speak English at a basic level. There is no age-limit for our programs, and we welcome older students as well as youth.
Students at Next Step work with staff to set an individual schedule that works for them. A minimum commitment of two hours a week is required, with opportunities to come a maximum of five days a week. All programs are free.
This program is for people who want to improve basic reading skills, or who are not quite academically ready for High School Equivalency material. Following an initial assessment, each person’s program and schedule are individually designed and may include one or all of the following:
- One-on-one tutoring provided by a pool of volunteer tutors
- Small group or one-on-one reading instruction
- Computer assisted learning
- Supervised independent study
High School Equivalency
Next Step Learning Center provides High School Equivalency (HSE) preparation and counseling. We help students prepare for the GED or HiSET exams. The actual tests must be taken at a different, certified testing center. Next Step helps students get ready for the exam, and then will assist you in scheduling your test at a local testing center. Next Step students are awarded scholarships to cover testing fees.
The program includes one of more of these components:
- One-on-one tutoring in HSE subject areas
- Small group instruction in specific HSE subject areas
- Computer-assisted independent study in HSE subject areas
- Official HSE practice exams
- Meetings to assess progress and readiness for HSE exams
- Referrals to certified testing sites
High School Diploma Completion
This program is for people who have previously dropped out of high school and wish to complete the units needed for a diploma. Students must be at least 17 years of age and must not be currently enrolled in any other high school. There is no age-limit, and older students are encouraged to ask about high school options.
Students work on the courses they failed or missed in high school to earn units towards an accredited diploma. This program is a partnership with Five Keys Charter School. The program includes:
- Help finding past transcripts
- Counseling to determine which courses / credits are needed to graduate
- Individual study plans and schedules
- One-on-one tutoring in the high school subject credit assignments
- Independent work to complete needed credits
- Opportunities to test-out of some subject areas
This program continues to build a college-going culture among our Next Step participants and graduates. Services are focused on making postsecondary education accessible to first-generation college students and providing support to help them enroll and succeed in college. The program includes:
- Individual college exploration counseling
- College Bridge classes to help you prepare for the transition to college
- Field trips to community colleges
- On-site college information sessions
- Individual and small group support activities for college-going Next Step students
- Ongoing tutoring and academic assistance
- An ACCESS Scholarship Program to assist college-enrolled students with the purchase of books and other needed supplies.
- Annual celebrations of student achievement