Review some of the schools in the state of the Arizona that will allow you to earn a high school equivalency diploma or GED, a professional certificate, an associate's degree and more. This article will look at three schools that offer a variety of these types of programs.
Schools and Programs
Adult basic education, GED preparation and English as a Second Language are examples of the essential kinds of adult education programs offered throughout Arizona's 15 counties. Adults can also develop basic skills needed for careers in many professional areas, such as business, manufacturing and computer technology. Program duration varies and can last anywhere from a few weeks up to two years. Some programs are offered at no cost. Adult studies can also prepare students to continue their studies at 4-year colleges and universities. The largest providers of adult education classes in Arizona are community college systems located in and near Arizona's most populous metropolitan areas, Phoenix and Tucson. Three of these schools are profiled below.
Schools At a Glance
Mesa Community College
- This two-year public school is located in Mesa, AZ.
- It offers programs for students seeking diplomas, a GED, certificates and associate's degrees.
Pima Community College
- This is a 2-year, public school located in Tucson, AZ.
- Students here may pursue a diploma/GED, certificate, or associate's degree.
Northern Arizona University
- This four-year, public university is located in Flagstaff, AZ.
- Here students may pursue certificates and bachelor's degrees.
Mesa Community College's Adult Education Programs and School Overview
Located in the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona, Mesa Community College serves more than 21,000 students annually. In addition to its more than 150 career and technical studies options, Mesa provides a variety of adult education classes in Arizona for learners to prepare for degree programs or the job market. Adult learners who begin by taking GED preparation or English as a Second Language courses at Mesa Community College can find programs to assist them in reaching any vocational or educational goal, including matriculation into neighboring Arizona State University.
Community Education Programs
Community education at Mesa Community College includes non-credit adult education classes and programs in mortuary science and fitness. Online courses are offered for career training involving healthcare, office and computer skills.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs
Upon taking English language placement tests, adult learners at Mesa Community College are advised about ESL program options. Courses are available for four levels of English proficiency, as are transitional courses to ease ESL learners into the college environment.
Mesa's business program consists of five fields of focus to meet the information technology training needs of local Arizona employers. The school offers a multitude of certificate and associate's degree programs in business.
Pima Community College's Adult Education Programs and School Overview
With an annual enrollment of more than 47,000 students, including adult learners, Pima Community College has six campuses and several adult learning education centers throughout the Tucson metropolitan region in Pima County. Pima Community College provides extensive continuing and adult education courses in addition to its career-entry and college transfer degree programs. It has developed several adult education initiatives to meet the needs of Pima County's diverse communities, including the following free programs.
Adult Basic Education
Adult basic education focuses on essential reading and writing skills, as well as practical math skills. Pima provides a supportive atmosphere--stressing both English and Spanish literacy--with well-trained instructors for adults requiring pre-GED skill building.
High School Equivalency Preparation
High school equivalency (HSE) preparation covers each area of the GED high school equivalency exam: reading comprehension, writing, math, science and social studies. Frequent opportunities are available on campus to take the GED exam.
English Language Acquisition for Adults
Beginning through advanced students can improve their basic conversational and academic English skills in this program. Lessons integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in contextualized situations.
Refugee Education Program
Tucson, AZ, has large refugee communities from Asia, Africa and southeastern Europe. Pima's Refugee Education Program provides practical English language lessons for adult learners to help them with daily living tasks.
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University is a traditional four-year university that offers students a chance to earn certificates that will help them prepare for careers. They also offer completion programs for students with an associate's degree ready to move on to a bachelor's. Some of the programs are offered online so that working adults may complete while maintaining a preexisting career.
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Certificate
The online SLPA program at Northern Arizona University teaches students skills needed to assist speech-language pathologist, and meets requirements set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This program does not provide state SLPA licensure, but it does provide educational preparation for becoming a licensed SLPA. Licensing requirements differ by states so out-of-state students may want to make sure the program meets their home-state educational requirements.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate
This program prepares students for careers in the geospatial technology industry. It may be completed either online or in-person. Students learn to work with GIS principles, software operations, programming, geodatabases and spatial analysis.
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
The BS in Dental Hygiene program at Northern Arizona University is an online degree completion program designed to provide students with an associate's degree, diploma, or certificate in dental hygiene with courses that will allow them to complete their BS. This program builds on previously learned skills and knowledge to improve a student's understanding of management, public health, evidence-based practice and computer use.
There are a number of education opportunities for adult students in Arizona. These opportunities include completing secondary education, improving academic skills, earning an associate's degree or certificate, and pursuing a bachelor's degree.