Have you considered furthering your education as an adult but don’t know where to start?

With so many options available, figuring out which path is right for you can be overwhelming.

Many educational opportunities are available in Tennessee, whether you never graduated high school, want to change your career path, or want to learn a new skill or hobby.

In this guide, we’ll explore the various options in detail, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your education.

Those Who Never Graduated High School

Returning to school can be intimidating, especially if you never graduated high school.

However, several options are available to help you obtain your high school equivalency diploma in Tennessee.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, higher educational attainment is associated with higher median earnings for those aged 25-34 who work full-time year-round.

In 2021, those with a master’s or higher degree had median earnings of $74,600, 21% higher than those with a bachelor’s degree ($61,600).

Similarly, the median earnings of those with a bachelor’s degree were 55% higher than those who completed high school ($39,700).

Tennessee High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)

If you are looking for a pathway to earn a high school equivalency diploma in Tennessee, The Tennessee High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) program offers you the opportunity to reach your educational goals.

HiSET is a High School Equivalency Test that covers the same material as a traditional high school diploma and is divided into five sections: Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Why Should You Take the HiSET?

Earning a HiSET certificate not only represents personal growth but it also shows employers, colleges, universities, and government institutions that you have earned a high school level of education.

The HiSET exam is the fastest way to earn a High School Diploma, which allows you to move ahead towards your goals more quickly.

With a high school education, you open up more employment opportunities, which can lead to a more rewarding career.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, those with a high school diploma earn about $10,000 more per year than those without one.

Moreover, a high school diploma makes you eligible for various scholarships such as the Hope Scholarship, TN Promise, or TN Reconnect.

It also qualifies you for a promotion or a pay raise, increasing your employment opportunities.

In short, taking the HiSET exam can be a game-changer for individuals who are looking to advance their careers, pursue higher education, or improve their personal growth!

Earn Your Diploma Through Workforce Essentials

When it comes to preparing for the HiSET test, Workforce Essentials is your premier choice in Middle Tennessee.

In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Workforce Essentials offers HiSET testing, free preparation classes, and much more.

Let’s get into our HiSET services.

Our HiSET Preparation Services

At Workforce Essentials, we understand the importance of flexibility in your education.

That’s why we offer a range of free class options, including in-person sessions in the morning, evening, and even on weekends. In-person students will typically attend 1-4 weekly sessions.

Workforce Essentials also provides online classes for those who prefer a more self-paced approach, allowing you to study on your schedule.

Getting Started with Workforce Essentials

In your journey toward earning your HiSET diploma, listed below are a few things to note when jumping in with Workforce Essentials.

  • Contact an office to register for an orientation session at a location nearest to you. We proudly serve students in 13 counties across Tennessee.
  • Orientations are held multiple times monthly, offering morning and evening sessions to accommodate your schedule.
  • To register for an orientation, call Workforce Essentials at 1-800-826-3177 or visit their website to request information!
  • When you register through Workforce Essentials, you will receive a voucher that pays for you to take the HiSET!

With Workforce Essentials, you can quickly pass the HiSET exam, earn your diploma, and confidently move forward to achieve your goals.

We are here to support you at every stage of your educational journey.

Additional HiSET Resources

In addition to Workforce Essentials’ comprehensive preparation classes, you can explore other resources available to HiSET test takers.

Your local education center or public library may offer study materials and practice tests to aid your preparation.

Furthermore, many organizations provide free or low-cost HiSET preparation classes for those seeking additional assistance.

For a wealth of information, including free resources, general testing information, and details about local adult education centers, visit the HiSET website.

Start your journey to HiSET success today with Workforce Essentials – your trusted partner for achieving your high school equivalency diploma in Tennessee.

Those Who Graduated High School But Never Went to College

Suppose you have already graduated high school but decided not to pursue college. In that case, there are still plenty of options available to further your education.

Community College

One option is to enroll in a community college. Community colleges offer a variety of degree and certificate programs.

They are often more affordable than four-year colleges and universities.

In Tennessee, 13 community colleges offer programs offering associate degrees, non-degree certificates, and short-term educational routes that students can finish within 1-2 years.

Courses at community college can also prepare you for a four-year degree program if that is your desire!

Online Degree Programs

Another option is to enroll in an online degree program. Many colleges and universities now offer complete online programs, allowing you to fulfill your coursework on your schedule.

Online degree programs are available in various subjects, from business and healthcare to education and technology.

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology

In addition to community colleges and online programs, Tennessee is home to the Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs).

This network of 24 institutions specializes in providing hands-on, career-focused training in various technical fields. With locations placed across the state, you can easily find a program near you.

TCATs offer programs that equip you with practical skills and knowledge required for specific industries.

TCAT programs are typically shorter in duration, making them a suitable choice if you’re looking to quickly enter the workforce or acquire specialized skills for career advancement.

Whether you’re interested in healthcare, automotive technology, or other vocational fields, TCATs can be your gateway to a rewarding career.

Financial Aid For TCAT

It’s worth noting that financial aid is available for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

This assistance is made possible through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a program dedicated to helping individuals access essential resources for success in the labor market.

WIOA provides eligible TCAT students with federal assistance that can cover various expenses, including books and supplies, transportation, and daycare services!

By accessing WIOA assistance, you can pursue your TCAT education with financial support, making acquiring the skills and training you need for a successful career easier.

To learn more about the opportunities provided by WIOA, visit the WIOA overview page for comprehensive information.

Tennessee offers a diverse range of educational options, including community colleges, online degree programs, Colleges of Applied Technology, and more!

Regardless of your educational goals or circumstances, there’s an avenue that can help you achieve your aspirations and further your career.

Those Who Want to Change Their Career Path

According to Zippia, the average worker changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime.

If you’re in a career you no longer enjoy and want a change, returning to school can help you make a career change.

One option is to enroll in a certificate program in your desired field. Certificate programs are often shorter than degree programs.

They can provide the skills and knowledge you need to make a career change.

Many certificate programs offer hands-on training or internships to help you gain practical experience.

Another option is to enroll in a degree program. If you’re unsure what you want to study, consider taking general education courses to explore your interests.

You can also speak with a career counselor to determine what career path is right for you.

In Tennessee, several universities offer career counseling services to help you make informed decisions about your education and career.

For example, the University of Tennessee Career Services provides various resources to help students and alumni develop their careers.

The services include career assessments, resume and cover letter reviews, job search strategies, and career fairs.

Those Who Want to Improve Their English Language Skills.

If you’re seeking to boost your English language proficiency, Tennessee offers various options to cater to your needs.

Whether English is not your first language or you want to refine your skills, there are opportunities available throughout the state.

Enroll in an ESL Program

Consider enrolling in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program, an excellent choice for non-native speakers aiming to enhance their reading, writing, and speaking abilities.

Those Who Want to Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Going back to school doesn’t have to be just about career advancement. Many options are available in Tennessee to learn a new skill or hobby.

Many community colleges and adult education centers offer classes in subjects such as cooking, art, music, and photography.

You can also find classes and workshops offered by local community organizations and businesses.

Learning a new skill or hobby can be a great way to meet new people and enhance your life.

For example, the Community Education program at Chattanooga State Community College offers various training services relevant to entrepreneurship and is affiliated with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC). 

Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families

According to a 2020 Fiscal year report from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, there are over 450,000 veterans living in Tennessee.

Resources are available in Tennessee if you’re a military service member, veteran, or family member seeking adult educational programs.

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services offers several educational assistance programs for veterans and their dependents, including the Tennessee Reconnect program.

This program provides eligible adults with tuition-free education at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology or community colleges to earn a certificate or associate degree.

The program helps veterans and their families transition into civilian careers.

For example, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro offers automotive technology, welding, and cosmetology programs.

Further Your Education With WorkForce Essentials

Returning to school as an adult can be a great way to further your education and improve your career prospects.

Although it can be intimidating, with the right resources and support, it can also be a gratifying experience.

Whether you’re looking to obtain your high school equivalency diploma, enroll in a certificate or degree program, improve your English language skills, learn a new skill or hobby, or are a military personnel, veteran, or family member, there are many options available to you in Tennessee.

At Workforce Essentials, we offer free personalized assistance to help you achieve your educational goals and improve your career prospects.

Our experienced staff can guide you through every step, from selecting the right program to preparing for the HiSET test or refining your English language skills.

We are committed to providing solutions that work!

Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you further your education.