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ACCEF High School Equivalency Academy (Free)

Listing Last Update: January 18, 2019


4021 Rosewood Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Primary Contact

Vanessa De La Cruz

(323) 906-2291

Educational services

  • To study for my high school equivalency exam

Instruction Type

  • Classroom

File uploads

Program Overview

The birth of the foundation's HSE Program began with a GED curriculum started at the Los Angeles campus of American Career College (ACC) in 2001. The idea: make a direct impact in the lives of non-high school graduates by providing a high quality, no cost GED preparation course and exam testing.

During the next decade and a half, the program expanded under the ACC umbrella to meet growing community demand. This included extending into other Southern California areas, including Orange and San Bernardino counties.

In 2014, the program formally changed from the GED to the current HSE Program. This was done in response to the California Department of Education's adoption of two additional high school equivalency exams, including HiSET® (High School Equivalency Test). To benefit the most students possible, the program was and continues to be solely dedicated
to student preparation for the HiSET® exam.

In 2015, the ACC Educational Foundation took the reins from ACC in a move to further broaden and grow the program into the current HSE Academies model.

Today, our foundation is focused on providing and expanding
educational opportunities for community members in Southern California by continuing to finance the free HSE Academies program. Additionally, we provide separate scholarship and grant support* for underserved residents pursuing higher education and enhanced workforce opportunities.

Mission Statement


To provide no-cost educational pathways and scholarship support for in-need community members in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties who are striving to pursue higher education, enhanced job opportunities and personal growth.


To elevate lives and enrich our communities through second-chance education and higher education scholarship support opportunities.


Our values serve as the guiding principles for all that we do in our interactions with students, community members, supporters and each other.

We proactively pursue opportunities to serve our community, society and one another.

We believe in the power of education to elevate lives.

We deliver results and abide by the most rigorous, transparent stewardship.

We honor, respect, value and participate in the communities where we live and work.

We strive to be the best in our work, services, ideas and relationships.

Hours of operation: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Cost info: Our program is part of a non-profit organization and there is no cost to our students. All students must attend classes, 2 hours per day, 5 days per week for approximately 60-90 days. We also pay the State of California's testing fees on behalf of the student.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories


A teen mother at age 15, Andrea dropped out of high school
in the 10th grade. After having her baby, she started hanging around the wrong crowd. She began to use drugs and alcohol, which lead to a life in and out of jail. The last time she was out of prison, Andrea became pregnant for the second time. It was then that she learned of a place called Casa Teresa, which
houses homeless pregnant women, and came to the organization for help.

Andrea was accepted to Casa Teresa and began to put her life back together. This included taking courses at a local community college to try to earn her high school diploma. During this journey, Casa Teresa Career and Education
Manager Maria Ayala told her about the Ascensus Foundation and its HSE Academies program designed to help in-need community members achieve their high school equivalency, all at no cost to students. She enrolled and began attending daily two-hour classes at the HSE Academies' Anaheim campus.

Though it had been nearly 15 years since she had been in school, Andrea was committed and began to study. Her instructor, Ivan Barrera, gave her the
encouragement, motivation and real-world tools needed to succeed and pass the HSE test. He gave her the confidence that she could and would achieve her goal. And she did! Andrea successfully passed theHiSET® exam, one of the HSE tests adopted by the state of California. When she passed this exam, she earned her high school equivalency certificate, which is equal to a high school diploma.

But Andrea's story of achievement goes even further. After earning her HSE certificate, she landed a job as an administrative assistant in a medical office. She says her life is now back on track!

"I learned so much about myself and how much I could do and accomplish thanks to Casa Teresa and my experience with the Ascensus Foundation," Andrea said. "I'm in a great place in life and have so much to look forward to."

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

All ages 17+ We currently have HSE classes ain Anaheim, CA., Los Angeles CA., Santa, Ana, CA; and Ontario CA. Most of our students are low income, and currently we have an estimated 400 students go through our program per year.

Program Status: