Adult Education in New York City

New York City offers myriad opportunities for adults to take classes for personal enrichment or to meet educational and vocational goals. Learn details about two institutions in this city that provide adult education programs.

Schools and Programs

Adult learning opportunities in New York City can be found in adult learning centers or colleges and universities throughout the five boroughs. Programs range from noncredit classes to certificate programs. Adults can earn a GED, learn English or receive career training. One of the most common areas in which adults can acquire job skills is in the area of healthcare. Several programs help to prepare adults for careers as, among others, nurses, pharmacy technicians, nurse assistants, EMTs, and EKG technicians.

Adults can also train for careers in many other areas, including carpentry, computer programming or office administration. Flexible day, evening and weekend classes are typically offered to those enrolled in an adult education program. Find more information about one university as well as adult education programs operated by the New York City Department of Education below.

Schools At a Glance

Schools Location Institution Type Class Format
New York City's Office of Adult and Continuing Education Brooklyn, NY Public On-campus
City University of New York New York, NY Public Online, on-campus

New York City's Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE)'s Adult Education Programs

Under the auspices of NYC's Department of Education, the Office of Adult and Continuing Education has established more than 300 adult learning centers at public schools, religious organizations and community centers. With locations throughout the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, the OACE provides comprehensive adult education programs for survival in NYC. Adult basic education, English skills and career preparation are emphasized.

Adult Basic Education

In the state of New York, the OACE provides the most extensive literacy services for adults. Certified teachers use authentic materials in contextualized situations to facilitate adult learning of reading, writing and math. Programs include pre-GED, GED preparation and vocational training options.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Incorporating fundamental themes such as family and work along with student interests, ESOL classes help learners develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English. These language programs prepare graduates for job training, college and citizenship requirements.

Career and Technical Education

Adult learners may pursue the OACE's career and technical education programs while they take English language classes and adult basic education courses to earn GEDs. Job-training programs offered include electrical installation, carpentry, Microsoft Office Specialist certification and website design.

Health Career Education

The OACE offers adult education leading to certification for in-demand healthcare careers. The licensed practical nursing (LPN), emergency medical technician (EMT) and certified nurse assistant (CNA) programs include clinical experience and classroom instruction to prepare graduates for professional New York state certification exams.

City University of New York (CUNY)

CUNY is a network of campuses in the five boroughs that comprises 24 institutions, including community colleges, senior colleges and professional and graduate schools. Collectively, CUNY offers over 4,000 continuing and professional education courses. Some popular NYC adult education programs available on the various campuses follow below.

Green Education Programs

As part of its commitment to sustainability, CUNY offers adult education certificate and degree programs, as well as credit and non-credit courses, in green education. Green training certificate programs for adults include several options in building operations, solar technology, construction, real estate, design and business.

Healthcare Interpreter Program

Bilingual adults can earn certificates on numerous CUNY campuses to become healthcare interpreters. Three levels of courses in medical terminology, the healthcare system, interpretation skills and cultural communication prepare graduates for the professional national certification exam.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

English as a second language courses are offered at multiple CUNY locations. There is an English for taxi drivers course offered at LaGuardia Community College. English as a second language evening and weekend courses are offered at Kingsborough Community College.

Certificate and Professional Programs

Lehman College has developed an award-garnering model for training unemployed and underemployed adult workers for in-demand healthcare careers. The New York City Employment and Training Coalition recognized Lehman's pathway program for training adults for careers as pharmacy techs, healthcare office administrators and electrocardiography technicians.

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