What Is Covered in Basic Adult Education Programs?

Basic adult education programs are non-degree programs that offer training for adults. Programs may prepare students to take the GED test, help them strengthen their reading levels or provide them with important life skills.

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Adult Education Programs & Topics

Adult basic education can encompass many different skills, from improving literacy levels to passing the U.S. citizenship exam. Adult basic education programs and classes can cover the following topics:

  • High school diploma equivalency
  • English as a second language
  • GED preparation
  • Family literacy
  • Citizenship exam preparation

High School Diploma Equivalency

Many basic adult education programs base coursework on education taught from first through twelfth grade in a traditional school. Coursework generally includes basic literacy courses for non-readers or readers with limited skills, such as non-native English speakers.

GED Preparation

Many community and technical colleges offer GED preparation through their basic adult education departments. These classes can cover all four subjects of the 2014 GED exam and include the chance to take full-length practice tests.

Family Literacy

This type of program can involve an adult and his or her entire family. Classes help all members of a family work together to build on their literacy levels. Adults may also receive job and parenting assistance.

Citizenship Exam Preparation

Classes in citizenship may be offered, which provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to take the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services citizenship examination. Such classes also teach English as a second language (ESL), so that a student can pass the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) interview. Students learn about the laws of the land and the responsibilities involved in citizenship. The classes also help immigrants to access important resources.

Online Options

Some schools offer GED training and other adult basic education online. Classes in reading, writing and mathematics can often be taken online; students with lower than ninth-grade reading or math skills are often given remote assignments to help them reach this level. Students must pass a placement exam upon application to the program. Applicants need to have strong computer and keyboarding skills, access to the Internet and several hours per week to devote to coursework. These online programs may be ideal for people with disabilities or mobility issues.

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