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Education and Vocational Training

student holding graduation cap and diploma

When youth who leave custody can find and maintain employment, they are much more likely to become crime-free, productive members of their communities.

To help them reach that goal, OYA encourages all youth in our custody to pursue educational degrees, learn job skills, and earn professional certifications.

Research shows that incarcerated people who participate in educational and vocational training programs while in custody are:
  • 43% less likely to be arrested for another crime than those who do not; and
  • more likely to find jobs when they leave custody.

Youth on OYA Parole or Probation

Whenever possible, OYA requires youth who are in community placements to attend school if they haven’t already finished their high school diploma or GED.
  • Residential programs: Some residential programs have their own schools on site. Others send students to local public schools.
  • OYA foster care: Youth attend a public school near their foster home.
  • Living with family or independently: We encourage these youth to attend their local schools.
  • College and vocational training: Youth interested in these services should talk with their juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO). The JPPO can connect them with resources, help with applications, and assist with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Families, if you have questions about your child’s schooling, please contact their JPPO.

Youth in OYA's Secure Facilities

All youth in OYA’s facilities who do not yet have a high school diploma or GED are required to attend school.

The schools inside our facilities provide the same education services students get in regular public schools, including:
  • Middle or high school education
  • High school diplomas
  • GEDs
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) for special education services
These services are provided by local school districts and education service districts. They are overseen by the Oregon Department of Education.

Youth in our facilities who have graduated from high school or have their GED are eligible to participate in vocational training programs. 

Programs vary depending on the facility. Our facilities offer many opportunities to earn certifications, licenses, and work experience.

We also offer:
  • Work Ethic, a soft skills program, at all our facilities
  • Financial Beginnings, a program that teaches students financial literacy skills
  • Psychology in the Work Place, a community college course about soft skills (for youth in college only)
Vocational and work programs differ from facility to facility. Overall, we offer:

Apprenticeship – LBME Limited Building Maintenance Electrician
Automotive Training Program
Barber Technician Worker
Barber Training Program
Barista
Bicycle Mechanic Worker
Bicycle Repair Training Program
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Community Service/Volunteering
Community Supervised Work Crews
Computer Science
Construction
CPR/First Aid
CTECH - Audio Visual, Copper Wiring, Fiber Optics, Telecommunications
Culinary Arts Training Program
Custodial Work
Driver Education Training
Electricians Assistant Worker
Financial Beginnings
Flagger Work
Food Service
Forklift Operator Training Program
Horticulture Gardening Training Program
HVAC Assistant Worker
Industrial Arts Teacher Assistant Worker
Industrial Arts Training Program
John Deere Tractor Training
Lattice Shop Work
Laundry Work
Library Assistant
Maintenance
National Career Readiness
National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) Training
Peer Mentoring
Office Assistant Work
Painting/Construction
Photography
Plumbing
Practical Money Skills
Pre-Apprenticeship
Project POOCH Dog Training
Physical Trainer
Recording Studio Work
Recycling Training
Small Engine Repair
Soft Skills 
Teaching Assistant
Tree Farm Work
Warehouse Work
Welding
Wildland Firefighting
Woodworking
​All of our close-custody facilities offer online college courses.

At times, college instructors come into our facilities to teach classes. Youth at some of our transition programs also have the opportunity to attend college in the community.

Students can work toward an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree.

Youth in OYA facilities typically start by enrolling at a community college before transferring to a university for a bachelor’s.
Youth in OYA custody may still apply for many types of financial aid, including:
  • Pell Grants
  • Oregon Opportunity Grants
  • Oregon Promise Grants
​OYA youth can file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), just like any high school student. Each OYA facility has a staffperson who helps college-bound youth fill out the FAFSA and register for school. 

We also partner with community colleges. Many of them have counselors who work with our students. 

Contact

Alex Nelson
OYA Statewide Education Coordinator
503-378-8655
Alex.Nelson@oya.state.or.us

Adam Henning
Oregon Department of Education Program Specialist
adam.henning@state.or.us

Records and Transcripts

If you're looking for a copy of your educational transcript, GED, or diploma from when you were in OYA custody, visit our Public Records page.

New Beginnings Scholarship

New Beginnings is a scholarship program that helps OYA youth with no other resources pay for online college classes.

Not all youth are eligible for PELL or
other education grants. New Beginnings bridges the gap between the desire to learn and the resources available. It helps youth go to college.

Donations to the New Beginnings scholarship fund are tax-deductible. The fund is managed by the Oregon Student Access Commission (Federal Identification Number: 93-6015581).

Donate by check:
Oregon Student Access Commission
Attn: Scholarships, Code 596
1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401

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