Palo Alto Adult Education

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Whether you want to develop new personal and career skills, earn your high school diploma, or go back to college, you'll find an adult education program to suit your needs in Palo Alto. Read on to learn about the options available.

Palo Alto Adult School

Palo Alto Adult School, the adult education arm of the Palo Alto Unified School District, offers a wide range of courses and programs for adults looking to learn new skills or earn a high school diploma. Courses are offered at six Palo Alto-area locations, and many classes are available for free or reduced costs. Options include:

  • Free GED and HiSET prep courses for students preparing to take high school diploma equivalency exams
  • ESL courses, an ESL Writing Academy, and English enrichment courses for English language learners at beginner and advanced skill levels
  • Training for careers in aviation services
  • Citizenship prep courses
  • Courses to improve computer, business, and finance skills
  • Foreign language courses, including Chinese, French, Spanish, and Italian
  • Arts-related courses, such as music, photography, writing, literature, and gardening

Stanford University

A benefit of living in a city that is home to Stanford includes easy access to adult continuing education and professional development courses at one of the country's top universities.

Continuing Studies

Continuing studies courses are available to students seeking to learn new skills for personal or professional enrichment. These noncredit offerings include short workshops and classes that last one to ten weeks. Courses are offered in subject areas such as business, the arts, history, communication, languages, science, technology, philosophy, and creative writing.

Center for Professional Development

Stanford's Center for Professional Development allows adults to enroll in professional development courses and certificate programs or earn graduate course credits that can be applied towards one of the university's certificates or Master of Science degrees. Fields of study include:

  • Professional and credit-granting graduate courses are offered in the fields of engineering, science, medicine, law, business, and the humanities.
  • Professional certificate programs are available in computer security, innovation and entrepreneurship, genetics and genomics, project management, energy innovation and emerging technologies, strategic decision and risk management, and IATA aviation management.
  • Graduate-level certificates are offered in international studies, several engineering disciplines, computer science, and statistics, among others.

Palo Alto Art Center

The city's Palo Alto Art Center offers hands-on programs that are held in the center's studios. Offerings include both one-day workshops and courses that last a month or more in subject areas such as jewelry making, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing, and pottery.

Children's Health Council

The Children's Health Council provides free classes to parents of children who need help managing ADHD, anxiety and depression, autism, and learning disabilities as well as bullying. Accredited continuing education courses, meanwhile, are offered for behavioral health professionals, such as psychologists and licensed clinical social workers.

Online Courses offers many online courses for adults in Palo Alto. Offerings include prep courses for the GED and college entrance exams, professional development courses, and classes for personal enrichment in the arts or foreign languages. All courses are self paced and available online 24/7, allowing adults to study and learn where and when they have time. Check out some of the courses available:

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.