General Education
Development or
High School Equivalency

The General Education Development (GED) assessment or the HiSET exam is provided to incarcerated students who possess neither a High School Diploma (HSD) nor a High School Equivalency (HSE) certificate. Students receive instruction in English/Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies in preparation to take an HSE exam.

Students who are enrolled in the GED program are provided subject matter preparation to pass HSE exam(s). They may take a computer-based GED or a paper and pencil HSE assessment on a case-by-case determination.

To achieve the GED certificate, the student must achieve a minimum score of 145 in each section and a total score of 580 on the entire test battery (all four parts).

A passing score on the GED or HSE exams signifies the student has the skills and knowledge necessary for college entrance and/or entry into the workforce.

Click [ HERE ] for printable information on GED.


All institutions


Enrollment into this program is considered open entry/open exit. Students progress at their own pace, reflecting their effort and desire to learn.


In accordance with the California Penal Code, 2053.1 (a2), Offenders reading at a 9th grade level or higher are eligible to enroll and work towards receiving a GED or HSE certification. They are placed into the GED program after completing prerequisites (Adult Basic Education ABE III or TABE), as long as they do not already possess a high school diploma or a HSE certificate.

In order to qualify to take a HSE exam, the student must demonstrate readiness based upon a TABE score of 9.0 or higher, or a Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) assessment of 145 or higher and computer literacy skills.


Offenders may be assigned by a Classification Committee.

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An offender who is serving, or has served, their time on good behavior has access to many rehabilitative services and programs if they are determined to be in need.
See Rehabilitative and Educational Services

Specific Rehabilitative Offices:

Rehabilitative programs are the best way for an offender to be prepared for success upon release. The link below explains this process with an easy-to-follow diagram

See Rehabilitative Process

See Technology Solutions for more information.

Technology has opened the door to more educational opportunities while simultaneously reducing government spending. Below is a list of technology initiatives at CDCR.

See Rehabilitative Program Videos for DRP program information and general insight of CDCR's offender rehabilitation.