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Postsecondary Guidance

As juvenile populations are increasing in age and length stayed, more and more agencies are interested in finding solutions to serve their postsecondary students. We've created this page to offer guidance around helpful resources and postsecondary options available to juvenile facilities.

As we continue to learn about more opportunities, we will be updating this website. If you have suggestions on additional resources we should consider, please email us at

College Credits

The below options offer ways for students to earn transferrable college credits


CLEP Tests

The College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP®), administered by the College Board, helps students earn transferable college credit by examination. Students complete a test preparation course, take the exam*, and by passing, earn transferable credit that 2,900 colleges and universities will accept. CLEP offers 34 exams that cover introductory college courses. To learn more about CLEP, the following sites may be visited:

*Note: All CLEP exams must be taken at a certified CLEP testing center. Schools and facilities may become CLEP testing centers to administer tests to students directly (this process is similar to becoming a HiSET testing center). BreakFree Education is available to support sites in becoming CLEP testing centers.

Studying for the CLEP:

Below are the two most common ways for students to study for the CLEP exam.

BreakFree Suggestion: Encourage a small number of students to study for the same course and enroll all of them in an online course together. Provide tutoring and support to the cohort, schedule set times for the students to be online, studying together, with their tutor present, set a timeline for course completion and to schedule the CLEP exam. You can make this feel like a class that has a start and end date, that meets regularly!

Modern States - Freshman Year Free

Modern States Education Alliance offers free, high-quality online courses taught by college professors that prepare students for CLEP exams. Modern States will pay for students to take the CLEP exam--after students complete the coursework and practice questions, they can request a CLEP voucher code. There are no prerequisites for the 32 courses that are available.


Enroll in course → complete coursework → request voucher → schedule exam with test center →

take and pass exam for transferable college credit

Independent Study

In addition to the courses offered by Modern States, students can study by using study guides and books. Openstax offers textbooks for introductory level college courses and CLEP study books can be purchased.


Inside-Out with Local Universities

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program® facilitates education through courses held inside prison, involving students from a higher education setting and incarcerated students. Inside-Out has been offered in virtually every kind of correctional institution in the country – including local, state, and federal facilities; maximum, medium, and minimum-security facilities; men’s, women’s, and juvenile institutions.

  • Agencies and schools can reach out to local universities to inquire about a partnership, or can reach out to the Inside-Out Program to learn more. 

  • To find out more about facilities that have hosted Inside-Out courses, click here.


Virtual or In-Person Courses with Local Community Colleges

There are two primary ways to offer college courses to students through a local college or university.

  • Students apply to and enroll at the college or university as full- or part-time students.  Students apply for Pell Grants (students in juvenile facilities are eligible--see below). All or most of the costs of attending college and taking courses are covered through the Pell Grants, however modest additional costs may need to be covered by the JJ agency or through other scholarship opportunities. Under this scenario, students are fully enrolled in the college or university, with access to courses online. Agreements about access to certain courses, technology, and communication for courses all are based on what the parties agree to.

  • JJ agency or Education provider partners with a local college or university and ‘purchases’ courses. Students are enrolled solely in the courses that are designed specifically for them. Often the JJ agency (or Education provider) pays the college or university a set amount to have one or more classes offered (in person or remotely) solely for students at the facility.


Pay-As-You-Go Online College

There are additional online college options where individual courses can paid for as students complete them. When selecting this option for students, it is important to be selective in choosing the right courses to meet your students' needs. Below are a few options for online college:

Funding for the Above

  • CLEP

    • The Modern States courses are free and offer a voucher for students who complete the online course. Without a voucher, CLEP exams cost $89. 

  • Pell Grants

College Credits
Tech Credentials

Tech Credentials

The below options offer ways for students to earn tech credentials that can assist them with future employment


Google Career Certificates

Google offers certificate-earning courses on IT Support, User Experience, Project Management, Data Analytics, and Android Development. Courses are online, can be completed at students’ own pace (Google suggests studying for 10 hours/week the course can be completed within six months), and offer training in job-ready skills for students with no relevant experience

  • The IT Support, User Experience Design, Project Management and Data Analytics Certificates cost $39 per month by subscription on Coursera. Access to the Google Associate Android Developer Certification training is free and the official exam fee of $149 is paid to Trueability to administer the exam.

  • View a short video on the google professional certificates, here.



Skillcrush offers online courses in coding, design and user experience. Their Break Into Tech course is a self-paced, online job training program broken up into 2 parts, each with coursework, real-world practice, and 1-on-1 support from instructors and Career Coaches. The first part consists of learning the skills and the second part of the course is designed to help students prepare their professional portfolio and apply to jobs. This course can also be broken down so that students only complete part 1. Skillcrush offers tuition assistance for students with financial need.

Entry-Level Credentials

Entry-Level Professional Credentials

The below options offer entry-level professional credentials for students to prepare for employment



The ServSafe Food Safety Training program leads the way in providing current and comprehensive educational materials to the restaurant industry. More than 4 million foodservice professionals have been certified through the ServSafe Food Protection Program, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Conference for Food Protection (CFP). ServSafe training and certification is recognized by more federal, state, and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification.

  • Students can take an online course and complete an online exam to earn their ServSafe certificate. Courses cost approximately $15.



OSHA 10-hour training teaches basic safety and health information to entry-level workers in construction and general industry. It is part of the OSHA Outreach Training Program, which explains serious workplace hazards, workers' rights, employer responsibilities and how to file an OSHA complaint. The 100% online courses gives students 24/7 access to workplace safety training. Students can complete the course at their own pace and earn an official OSHA 10 card from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) — a common requirement for employment in construction and other industries.

  • The course costs approximately $80


 First Aid Red Cross

Red Cross offers certificate-granting first aid courses online. Upon completion of the online class, students will receive a 1 year Provisional Red Cross certification. To receive a 2 year Red Cross certification that satisfies OSHA requirements, the student must successfully complete the Provisional Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skill Session, which needs to be completed within one year and is sold separately (this class is typically in-person). The course costs $60.


Medical Billing and Coding Certification

DeVry University offers 100% online medical billing and coding classes every 8 weeks. Courses allow students to learn fundamental concepts and practice in hands-on virtual lab environments to prepare them for opportunities in the fast-growing field of medical billing and coding. The program prepares students to take the industry certification exams.

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