Our Programs

Pre-HiSET (Formerly GED) Prep

Our Pre-HiSET Prep program is for individuals who are preparing for the HiSET, but may require additional support.

Enrollment in Pre-HiSET Prep requires fourth grade reading abilities and students must be at least 18 years old. Admissions are rolling with no waiting lists. 

HiSET (Formerly GED) Prep

Our HiSET Prep program supports individuals preparing for the HiSET with math, reading, writing, social studies and science instruction. Our HiSET classes integrate college and career-readiness skills into instruction. 

Enrollment in HiSET Prep requires sixth grade reading abilities and students must be at least 18 years old. Admissions are rolling with no waiting lists. 

College Prep

Our College Prep program is for college-bound students (18+) who have passed their HiSET exams or have high school diplomas, but would like to refresh their academic skills before taking their college placement tests. College prep classes focus on math, reading, writing, and computer skills for college.  We also work on critical soft skills, such as developing study habits, managing time effectively, and employing effective basic research methods to facilitate the transition into college. 

To enroll in College Prep, a student must either have a HSE credential or a high school diploma. The class runs three times a year in 14-week cycles.

Pathways-to-Careers Initiative

The X-Cel Pathways-to-Careers Initiative is focused on serving unemployed and underemployed young adults who lack a high school credential. The Initiative goal is to enable students to complete vital education credentials and at the same time develop the work-readiness skills and attitudes that employers are seeking. The Initiative integrates career-readiness skill development activities, career exploration and goal-setting, work-place site visits and job shadowing along with classes and customized instruction for the high school equivalency (HSE) exam. 

The Pathways-to-Careers Initiative includes ten hours/week of HSE preparation classes, held in daytime or evening hours, and three hours/week of career workshops and employer visits. Career workshops feature employers who speak about how to be successful in the workplace and the particular skills and attitudes they are looking for in potential employees. Twice each month, students visit employer work-sites to learn about particular industries. As Pathways-to-Careers students begin to work toward their HSE exams and identify career goals, X-Cel staff work closely with them to choose a post-secondary workforce training program, industry-recognized college certificate program or associate/bachelor's degree programs that will lead to in-demand and high-growth occupations. 

Connection Center

X-Cel operates the Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC) Connection Center, a one-stop resource center for Greater Boston’s opportunity youth (OY). Located conveniently inside the Ruggles T Station on the Orange Line, the Connection Center matches each youth with his or her own Success Coach. In many cases, Success Coaches are former OY themselves, who are now armed with connections to college and career readiness programs, vocational programs, and many other local innovators who promote alternative pathways for youth looking to make a positive change in their lives. Whether it’s a career, a college application, or simply a way out, the Connection Center can help youth find a path to success and independence. 

The Connection Center focuses on assisting OY ages 20-24 who have a high school degree or HSE credential. OY may be unemployed, not in school, or simply unhappy with their current situation. The Connection Center's main objective is to identify and facilitate enrollment in the education and training programs necessary to enter each OY’s career of choice. 

The Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative is convened by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and the Boston Opportunity Agenda (BOA) with funding support from the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund for Community Solutions. The collaborative is a partnership of stakeholders dedicated to serving opportunity youth.

To learn more about the Connection Center, visit http://bostonopportunityyouth.org/connection-center/.

Partner Programs 


STRIVE operates a 5-week job readiness program focusing on changing the participants’ behavior and attitude so that they will be successful in securing and maintaining employment.

Integrated into STRIVE’s 9:00-5:00 program, X-Cel comes in twice a week for two hours each day to provide HiSET prep classes to those STRIVE participants who lack a high school credential, and provide college prep instruction to STRIVE participants who have a high school credential and desire to enroll in post-secondary education. At the end of the five-week cycle, STRIVE participants who lack a high-school diploma, are eligible to transfer to one of X-Cel’s community-based HiSET prep classes, and the college prep students transfer to one of X-Cel’s community-based college prep classes.

Location: 651 Washington Street, Dorchester, MA 02124

Admissions Requirements: STRIVE participants or STRIVE graduates.

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00pm – 4:00pm. The program runs on a 5-week cycle.

Contact: 617-825-1800

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC)

X-Cel has had a strong partnership with Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) for many years. This partnership has resulted in the ability of X-Cel to provide post-secondary support both on and off campus to X-Cel students currently enrolled at BHCC. BHCC has trained X-Cel staff members to administer the Accuplacer college placement test so that X-Cel students are able to take it at our own program sites. X-Cel staff members have taught academic boot camps, both at X-Cel and BHCC, to prepare incoming students for the Accuplacer. X-Cel staff are able to effectively advise our students and match them with programs of study that will lead to a career that pays a living wage, based on alumni experience as well as research data. 

Roxbury Office of Financial Empowerment - Bridge to Career Training Programs

X-Cel Education runs two adult bridge programs offered through the Roxbury Office of Financial Empowerment:

Bridge to Hospitality in partnership with BEST Hospitality Training

Session Dates: March 27, 2017 -  April 9, 2017; Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm

This program aims to create a strong pipeline of qualified students for the Boston Education, Skills & Training (BEST) Hospitality Training pre-apprenticeship program or for direct entry in the hospitality field. The bridge curriculum has been designed using an adult basic education framework and covers professional soft skills, evidence-based reading/writing, basic computer skills, consumer service, and basic conflict resolution skills. 

Bridge to Culinary in partnership with New England Center for Arts & Technology

Session Dates: May 15, 2017 - June 9, 2017, Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm

This program will create a strong pipeline of qualified students for New England Center for Arts & Technology (NECAT), a full-time, 16-week Culinary Arts Job Training Program for unemployed/underemployed adults who aim to enter the culinary industry. The bridge curriculum focuses on building computer, customer service, reading/writing, math, conflict resolution, and job readiness skills, such as time management, communication, and critical thinking.


Information sessions run Monday and Wednesday at 10:00 AM, and every third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM, through November 4, 2016. Funding from this program is being provided through the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment. For more information, click here or contact Antonio Nunes, Program Manager at Antonio.Nunes@Boston.gov.