Enroll in FREE high school equivalency classes today!

Bridges to Success can help you earn your high school equivalency diploma (HSED) and pass the HiSET test, opening up a world of job and career opportunities.

  • FREE classes, coaching, testing, and books
  • Convenient times and locations
  • Your own career coach to help you succeed and plan for your future
  • Work-ready practical lessons that are useful after the program
  • Expert instructors and fellow classmates to answer questions and help you study

Note: Many people know a high school equivalency diploma as the GED, but the state of Iowa now requires individuals to pass the HiSET test instead.

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You're not alone. 34,000 central Iowans don't have a high school diploma. 
We can help you earn it!

The Bridges to Success program is simple, smooth, and straightforward.
We make earning your high school equivalency diploma (HSED) as painless as possible.

For anyone having trouble with the HiSET orientation process, please refer to the following:

From your smartphone or tablet, If you click on the virtual orientation link found in your welcome e-mail (may be in SPAM filter!) and open it up in "regular" vertical mode (not horizontal full-screen mode), you see the screens below.

When you click on the little down triangle (highlighted in yellow and pointed out on graphic below), the description opens up, including the link to the quiz (boxed in red).
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Class Locations

  • DMACC Ankeny Campus
  • DMACC at Perry Van Kirk Career Academy
  • DMACC Capitol Center
  • DMACC Southridge Center
  • DMACC Urban Campus
  • Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families
  • Walnut Creek Church - Downtown
  • West Des Moines Human Services

A variety of class times are available around central Iowa, including both morning and evening sessions. Schedules vary based on location and class subject.

Learn More


I earned my HSED!

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Donna Mitchell

"When I got there, I realized I didn’t have anything to be nervous about. The instructors care, they are helpful, and they answer your questions. They make it really easy."


I earned my HSED!

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Aaron Hanke

"Getting through the program was so much easier than I thought, thanks to my career coach."

Aaron now attends DMACC to earn his auto restoration certificate.


I got a job! 

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Elizabeth Magok

While enrolled in classes, Elizabeth's career coach helped her apply and interview for jobs. She went from a retail position to a better-paying job in health care. After graduating, Elizabeth wants to become a nurse. 




Career Coach Ciara Ladroma



Student Liberty Stoutenberg

What to expect:

Your coach and your instructors will help prepare you to pass the five HiSET subject tests. Take classes in the subjects you need help with, and qualify out of classes for subjects you already know.

 Bridges to Success provides:

  • A personalized support plan
  • A flexible schedule to work around your job and family responsibilities
  • Low-pressure classes with DMACC instructors
  • Other students to help you study and keep you motivated
  • Free textbooks and testing
  • 1:1 coaching and support services to ensure you meet your goals

You can earn your HSED sooner than you think!

Who will help you: 

Your career coach is always available to help. You don't even need to ask!

During 1:1 sessions, your coach will advise you on:

  • How to overcome challenges, such as transportation or child care, and find resources to help
  • A  personalized plan of classes and tests to get you through the program as quickly as possible
  • Interview tips and tricks
  • Job opportunities for the present
  • Career counseling and planning for the future
  • Continuing education, such as job training or college classes


What comes after:

Before you earn your HSED, your coach will make sure you are ready to take on the next stage of your life—whether that be a higher-paying job with advancement opportunities or a college education. 

Individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency:

  • Earn $700,000 more during their career than they otherwise would
  • Are less likely to be unemployed
  • Are less likely to be in prison
  • Are less likely to need public assistance
  • Are less likely to experience poor health
  • Are more likely to have health insurance
  • Are more likely to raise children who are healthy and succeed in school

Take the first step on the bridge to the rest of your life.


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The Bridges to Success program is a collaboration between United Way of Central Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College.




"The best part of this job is watching how the Bridges to Success program transforms individual lives. The joy and pride on the faces of the students as they graduate is inspiring."


Elsie Rotich

Community Impact Manager, Income

Elsie.Rotich@unitedwaydm.org   (515) 246-2511