Skip to main content

    Foundations → CREA


The Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA) is an academic and career readiness education program for older English learners in MCPS.  Students in CREA are provided with opportunities to prepare for the GED exam, learn valuable work skills, and earn industry certifications.  Students are referred to CREA if they are at least 18 years old and unlikely to meet all graduation requirements prior to turning 21 and/or if they are interested in pursuing an alternative pathway to a high school diploma via GED preparation.  

The CREA program is currently offered at both Seneca Valley High School and Thomas Edison High School of Technology as a full-day programs. The evening program is offered at Thomas Edison High School of Technology and Shady Grove Automotive Depot.  Having these two program options provides students who need to work or care for their own children with an opportunity to continue their education in MCPS until they turn 21. Students who participate in either CREA program are considered full-time MCPS students.  



Who is eligible to participate in CREA?

Students are eligible if they:

  • are residents of Montgomery County and enrolled in a MCPS high school
  • are 18 years old or older by the first day of the school year
  • are enrolled in an English language development program in MCPS
  • are unlikely to meet Maryland state graduation requirements by the end of the academic year in which the student turns 21, based on a completed graduation plan regarding the 4-year or 5-year cohort options
  • are interested in pursuing an alternative pathway to a high school diploma through General Education Diploma (GED) preparation. 

 CREA Full-Day Program 

Where: Seneca Valley High School and Thomas Edison High School of Technology 

When:  regular school hours, Monday through Friday

Students are picked up from their home school and transported to either Seneca Valley High School or Thomas Edison High School of Technology where they are scheduled to take their academic classes and their career classes. They are then transported back to their home school to go home.

Students in the full-day program receive instruction in one of multiple career pathways:

CREA Evening Program

 Where: Thomas Edison High School of Technology and Shady Grove Transportation Depot

 When:  Monday through Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  

Most students in the CREA Evening program work during the day. Students are provided with a light dinner.  Students take their academic classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings.  Students take their career classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Both day and evening CREA programs provide additional support for students and their families by facilitating access to additional services, such as resources for housing, health and wellness, and legal services.  CREA community partnerships include Nourish Now, Inc. and Bare Necessities to help feed some of our neediest students and their families.  We also partner with the School Based Wellness Centers and Identity, Inc. to provide comprehensive case management for all students. 

Students in the evening CREA program receive instruction in one of five career pathways:

Program Offerings and Additional Supports
  • CREA GED preparation classes

  • CREA CTE classes aligned to industry recognized certifications

  • Bilingual program staff, including Program Specialist, Counselor, Program Manager, Parent Community Coordinator, Teachers, and Paraeducators

  • Bilingual instructional support

  • Modified instructional outcomes

  • Regular cultural field trips and/or guest speakers (arts integration)

  • Monthly group counseling sessions for all students

  • Summer Program - extending learning in English language development, math, science, and social studies

  • Free of cost to MCPS students enrolled in the CREA program (all student fees for CTE testing and certifications, uniforms, transportation, and meals are provided by MCPS).

Referral Process

Both the CREA full-day and evening programs accept referrals throughout the year for ongoing enrollment.  The CREA referral form (MCPS Form 280-82) should be completed by a staff member who works with the student being referred to the program.  Once the referral form is complete, attach supporting materials and submit all documents to the CREA program specialist.  CREA staff will schedule an intake meeting with the referred students and their parents/guardians.  After the intake meeting, CREA staff will communicate enrollment decisions to home school staff.


Contact Us

CREA Program Specialist, Dr. Lindsay Walberg,