Our office knows that if you can increase your education or vocational training, your chances for gaining meaning employment toward a career with good pay, benefits, fulfillment, and advancement are greatly enhanced. It really helps your confidence, quality of relationships, and overall life success too. The information, guidance, links, resources, and contacts listed here are intended to help you achieve those goals.
Three areas of need and opportunity include: Basic Education (Adult Literacy and GED), Vocational/Technical training, and Higher Education at a local college, university, or career school. Additionally, you will find Local Schools, National Resources, and Financial Aid information.
National Resource Information
Another great resource for ex-offenders is the 2010 Reentry Resource Guide on Education Planning: Back to School: A Guide for Continuing Your Education after Prison, a resource guide for individuals leaving prison interested in furthering their education upon release (John Jay College-Prisoner Reentry Institute) which was funded by the U.S. Department of Education). This includes vocation training options, adult basic education materials, and college information from planning, completion, to funding.
The National HIRE Network has advocated for years now for policy and law change that break down barriers to education, training and employment for those with criminal records, substance abuse history, AIDs, etc. Their 2008 National Reentry Blueprint document is an informative and powerful tool to their advocacy and opportunity goals.
Basic Education (Adult Literacy, Adult Basic Education, GED, etc.)
Literacy Foundation (Do you want to learn to read, improve your reading skills, get your GED® Certificate, or learn English? Get started now. To find a helpful program near you, choose the type of service you need and then search by either your city/state OR your zip code)
National Literacy Directory (Literacy Programs by location)
GED Program information, locations and assistance can be found at: American Council on Education (GED:prepare-find-take) and the GED Testing Center Locations (GEDtestingservice.com).
Additional details of how to prepare for, complete, and get your certificate for the GED in Texas are available directly from the Texas Education Agency.
Information and steps to get your GED Certificate from BOP after release can be found at this link.
America’s OneStop Vocational Training Locator
Listing of Vocational Training Programs in Texas
Eligibility and process to qualify (pysical.mental disability) for vocation rehabilitation/training services through Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
Texas Technical Schools listing.
2 and 4-year Colleges:
The more education you get, the more likely it is you will always have a job. KnowHow2GO provides middle schoolers to adults extensive information on the value of continuing education after high school, how to prepare for college, the myths vs. realities about college and the availability of financial aid for college. In addition, the KnowHow2GO website provides resources for information on counseling, academics, and financial aid that is available within your state or territory.
Search for a local college through the national college navigator maintained by the Institute for Education Sciences, or just for Texas Colleges with the College for All Texans Locator from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
You can find a list of Texas 2 year Community College or Technical Schools here (search by location and type)
Here's the U.S. Department of Education's list of accredited post-secondary institutions, colleges, and programs.
College Financial Aid and Scholarships
U.S. Department of Education Manual on Financial Aid for College and Managing Your Debt and Budget Calculator
U.S. Department of Education site for getting Financial Aid for College and details about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The CareerOneStop.org site holds a clearinghouse of information and weblinks to sources of financial aid, grants, and scholarships for higher education funding..
College for All Texans website for higher education planning and financing. Also, here's a good site with 25 Tips for funding college underwritten by the U.S. Selective Service System.
Additionally, this site from the Texas Workforce Commission provides exhaustive information and hyperlinks for planning, selecting, and funding for college or a career school.
Also, here's a great resource about rights and discrimination protections for ex-offenders pursuing public financial aid for education provided by the National Reentry Resource Center.