Birmingham Adult Education

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Do you want to earn your high school equivalency diploma, improve your professional skills or take a course for personal enrichment? In this article, we explore some of the adult education options available in Birmingham to meet your needs.

GED Preparation for Adults

Jefferson State Community College

Jefferson State Community College's GED prep classes are offered for free to adult learners wishing to earn their high school equivalency credential. Courses blend computer-based teaching, traditional instruction, and study groups. These classes are available at the Shelby-Hoover and Jefferson Campuses, as well as several other Birmingham-area locations.

Lawson State Community College

Lawson State Community College provides GED test prep through its adult education program. These free classes are offered weekly, Monday through Thursday, at the Birmingham East campus, the Birmingham Career Center, and Birmingham Municipal Court.

Online Courses offers a comprehensive, online GED prep course to adults who need the option of studying at their convenience, rather than at scheduled class times. This GED Study Guide course covers the five GED subject areas - math, science, social studies and reasoning through language arts (reading and writing). The course is broken down into short text and video lessons and includes self-assessment quizzes to help students make sure they are mastering the skills and knowledge they need to pass their GED tests.

Adult Education for Personal and Professional Development

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

To help adults improve their professional skills and advance their careers, UAB's continuing education department offers both individual courses and professional certificate programs. Courses are available in such subjects as education, healthcare, business, and the arts. UAB's professional certificates, meanwhile, include:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Professional Training
  • Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Safety
  • Master Teacher Series
  • Electrical Safety Management
  • Project Management

Jefferson State Community College

Jefferson State Community College offers professional development classes and certificate programs, along with a support program for adult students:

  • The New Options Center is located on the Jefferson Campus in Birmingham and serves adults who are returning to school. Along with information and referrals, it offers seminars that help adults choose career and educational paths.
  • Non-credit workforce education certificate programs are offered to adults who want to advance their careers or start new ones. Certificates are available in such fields as computers and technology, healthcare, Spanish, leadership and management.
  • Adults can take individual courses in a non-credit capacity for professional development or personal enrichment. Students over the age of 60 may enroll for free in classes if space is available.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Adults who are interested in learning more about botanical arts, either for personal enrichment or professional development, can take individual classes in a variety of subjects or earn a certificate in native plant studies at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. One-day courses cover diverse topics, such as photography, pollination ecology, and soy candle making. The certificate program, meanwhile, requires participants to complete six core classes, six electives, two field trips, and 40 hours of volunteering within three years.

Online Courses's online adult education offerings include a wide array of professional development, certification preparation, and personal enrichment courses. All are self-paced for convenience. To explore what these courses offer, see for example: