The Career Pathways Program

Monroe College’s Career Pathways program can help you get those dreams back on track. A 24-credit High School Equivalency (HSE) program, Career Pathways can help you earn college credit at the same time that you earn your HSE diploma. This means that you can complete your HSE and your associate degree in as little as 16 months.

If you’re ready to work hard to achieve your goals, you deserve a pathway to success. We’ll show you the way. Read on to learn how you can earn both your HSE diploma and your associate degree with Monroe. You can also sign up for an information session here.

It’s the best of both worlds. You get your GED and your associate degree at the same time.


Alejandro Pinero

Associates in Criminal Justice, 2019

Why Should I Get My HSE Diploma? 

It’s simple: an HSE can greatly increase your chances of career success. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning the equivalent of a high school diploma can increase both your opportunities for employment and your earning potential. And when you earn your associate degree, those numbers go up even more. 

A degree is a path to social mobility: something we know a lot about at Monroe. Both The New York Times and U.S. News and World Report recognize us as a leader in social mobility for our students. With Monroe’s Career Pathways program, you can work toward both your HSE and your degree at the same time — so you can start building the life you want even sooner. 


What’s the Difference between a GED and an HSE?

In New York State (NYS), there are four ways to earn your HSE. The General Educational Development (GED) Test is only one of them. The GED Test covers four subjects: Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA), Social Studies, Science, and Mathematical Reasoning. If you pass the GED Test, you can earn your NYS HSE. 

Passing the GED does not earn you college credit, however. With a GED, it can take up to two more years to earn an associate degree, and up to four for a bachelor’s degree

There is another path to earning your HSE: one that can help you complete your degree much faster. By earning 24 college credits from an accredited institution of higher learning, NYS will award you your NSE diploma. And when you earn those credits through Monroe’s Career Pathways program, you can apply them toward an associate degree program of your choice. 

With Career Pathways, you’ll have much more than a GED. You’ll have a college degree. 

How It Works: The Career Pathways Curriculum 

The Career Pathways program begins with two (2) semesters of the 24 college credits you’ll need to earn your HSE diploma:

You’ll go on to complete three (3) more semesters toward your associate degree, for a total of 60 credits. You can choose to major in: 

  • Accounting
  • Baking & Pastry
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Culinary Arts
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Services
  • Medical Administration
  • Medical Assisting (in-person day time classes required)
  • Sports Management

You can complete the entire program in just 20 months.

In addition to the academic curriculum, Career Pathways students receive seminars in important topics like career development and financial literacy. You’ll also receive personalized support from admission through graduation. It’s all part of what we call our 360º support network

How to Apply 

Every week on our Bronx campus, our admissions advisors hold information sessions. You’ll be able to ask your questions, get support and share your goals. We feel it is very important to meet in person so we can assist you with your customized plan. 

Your advisor will guide you through the following steps to apply: 

  1. Submit your Monroe College online application, along with:

    • A personal statement

    • A $35.00 application fee
  2. Attend virtual tutoring sessions to prepare you for the next steps. Don’t worry, take a deep breath, we are here to help!
  3. Take the standardized ACCUPLACER exam to demonstrate your academic readiness 
  4. Participate in an interview to further explore your academic and career goals and allow us to get to know you so we can support you in the way that makes the most sense for YOU!. 
  5. Qualified candidates are generally 21 years of age or older, though the Admission Committee does make exceptions for younger students in some cases.


Can You Go to College Without a GED or High School Diploma

You can! The federal government has a program known as Ability to Benefit (ATB), which allows students without a high school diploma to attend an institution of higher learning. It’s one of the reasons Career Pathways students take the ACCUPLACER exam: both the NYS Education Department and the U.S. Department of Education use it to determine eligibility for ATB.

Can I Get Financial Aid Without a GED or High School Diploma? 

While Career Pathways students must receive their 24-credit HSE before they can qualify for federal aid, you may qualify for financial aid from New York State once you pass the ACCUPLACER exam. That means you could receive financial aid from the moment they begin the program.

Monroe’s dedicated financial aid counselors will help you figure it all out. They’ll help you to secure the maximum possible financial aid package: a combination of grants, scholarships, and loans. We also offer manageable payment plans on top of our affordable tuition and fees. Monroe also has relationships with more than 400 corporate partners — if you currently work for one of them, you may also qualify for a Corporate Partnership Grant that could cover up to 20% of your tuition. 

There’s a reason that U.S. News and World Report has named us one of the Best Value Schools in Regional Universities North year after year. We believe everyone deserves an affordable education — and we work hard to make that happen.

How it Works

After you earn 24 credits, you’re eligible to earn your high school equivalency. The next 36 credits you earn lead toward your associate degree. You can do this in just five semesters – less than two years!

The Career Pathways Program: 24 Credits for a Lifetime of Opportunity ? 

All it takes is 24 credits to change your life. 24 credits — just two semesters — can open doors to  new opportunities. And in just a few months more, you can develop the tools you need to follow your dreams.

With the Career Pathways program, you can do it — and you won’t have to do it alone. Our dedicated faculty will be there to support you… every step of the way.   

Discover what you can accomplish in just a few short months. Apply today.

How We Support You

Small classes. Tutoring. Exceptional support. Even if you've been out of school for a while, we'll make sure you succeed.

For more information, please contact:

Dana Mescaino / / 646.393.8396
Celia Oliver / / 646.393.6435
Edwin Tubens / / 646.383.8774