High School Equivalency Program (HEP)


Academic Provisions

  • Many students from migrant farmworker families, often marginalized in school and in society in general, feel that the traditional classroom environment does not meet their unique academic and emotional needs. Teachers at the High School Equivalency Program at the University of South Florida have been successful in creating a "community of learners" by incorporating activities that help the students lower their affective filters. Feeling accepted and comfortable in class helps students engage in the learning process. The classroom setting is a place where learning flows from the students' own experience.
  • Class Schedule - HEP's class schedule is very intense, but students quickly get used to the fast pace of our program. HEP students attend classes every weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Classes - We offer a regular academic curriculum (including: Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science). In addition, HEP offers a Critical Thinking component. Each day, HEP students learn about study skills, test taking strategies and critical thinking strategies that add to their reading comprehension and overall learning experience. While at HEP, the students meet with our Outreach Specialist to learn about vocational skills and to obtain information about post-secondary educational opportunities and job placement, as well as financial aid and professional training.
  • Our extracurricular activities are as enriching as our academic component. We frequently visit the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and also take advantage of the many opportunities for extracurricular activities offered at the University of South Florida campus such as USF Engineering Expo, the Contemporary Arts Museum, guest lectures, and residential student events.

Residential Provisions

  • Room and board
  • $15.00 weekly stipend for residents and $30.00 for commuter student
  • Health Care - Access to the USF Health Clinic
  • Residential Counselor to help ease transition from home to USF
  • Transportation

Transitional Provisions

The transition component of the program is designed to support the placement of students in post secondary or employment settings commensurate with their interests and abilities and to ensure successful integration of students in community settings. Several transition activities are incorporated into the HEP program. Activities include:

  • vocational evaluation
  • counseling
  • career exploration
  • employability skill development
  • post-secondary placement
  • community living

A transition specialist is responsible for implementing the transition component of the program. He/she coordinates the administration of individualized vocational evaluations and interprets their results. She provides individualized vocational counseling and teaches and coordinates the life skills and community living classes. These classes are designed to assist students in developing and refining social and work adjustment skills. Students are taught to conduct on-line job searches and receive instruction in completing job applications, interviewing, resume writing, handling interpersonal work relationships, and appropriate work behaviors.

A speaker’s bureau consisting of representatives from various community agencies provide HEP students the opportunity to interact with individuals from their communities. Representatives share issues and concerns affecting adult community living and make students aware of services to which they have access.