Over one-fifth of New York's high school students are two or more years behind their peers in accumulating the credits needed for graduation. Research shows that these over-age and under-credited students have just a 19 percent chance of finishing school or earning a GED if they remain in traditional high schools.
To combat the city's serious dropout problem, the Department of Education (DOE) established the Office of Multiple Pathways to Graduation in 2005 and partnered with area non-profits to create alternative education programs for over-age and under-credited students. CASES was one of eleven nonprofits to first open a Learning to Work/GED program in September 2006. The program targets court-involved young people and those who have fallen behind in traditional schools, giving them a second chance to get ahead by earning a GED while gaining the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
CASES screens youth for enrollment in the program based on referrals from CASES' Court Employment Project, as well as from the Department of Education and other sources.