Schools and Programs
Adults in the Tampa area seeking to develop or enhance occupational or personal skills can do so through a variety of adult education programs, including those in literacy, high school completion, English for speakers of other languages, and various vocational studies. Vocational programs could include both classroom studies and hands-on learning experiences and are offered in areas like early childhood education, dental assisting, and automotive service.
Here's some quick information about three Tampa schools offering adult education programs:
Schools at a Glance
The Hillsborough County Public School System offers high school equivalency diplomas and less than one-year certificates through its adult education program. Students here may take classes online or in person.
Students at Hillsborough Community College, a public two-year school may pursue less than one-year to two-year certificates and two-year degrees through online and on-campus programs. Clearwater Adult Education Center is part of the public Pinellas County School System, and it offers both online on on-site classes. Students who enroll here may pursue high school equivalency diplomas, English for speakers of other languages courses, and vocational classes.
HCPS' Education Programs
Hillsborough County Public Schools' Adult Education programs help Tampa residents get the basic education they need to acquire gainful employment. Adult students can earn a high school diploma, learn to speak English, prepare for American citizenship and acquire workplace skills.
The Adult Basic Education/General Educational Development (GED) Program offers self-paced courses that focus on the fundamentals of reading, math, and language arts. The goal of the program is to prepare adult students for vocational or technical training. Adults who are legally withdrawn from high school can enroll in the GED program. The program offers instruction in the four core areas needed to earn the GED: language arts, reading/writing, math, social studies, and science.
The High School Diploma Program is for students 16 years and older who are no longer enrolled in school. Students in the program complete the remaining courses and assessments they need to earn their diploma. Classes are offered in a classroom setting as well as online.
Students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program learn English communication skills in speaking, reading, and listening. The school's Adult Education Department also provides social and cultural services to ESOL participants.
CARIBE (Career Recruitment and Instruction in Basic English) is a program for refugees and asylees in Tampa, FL. Qualifying adults receive free tuition, texts, and supplies for ESOL, workplace preparation, and vocational skills classes.
HCC Adult Vocational Programs
Hillsborough Community College has five campuses in the Tampa area. Its adult vocational programs award students certificates for training hours completed for a variety of in-demand jobs.
Automotive programs give high school graduates looking to work in the automotive industry three options from which to choose. A 1,400-hour autobody collision repair and refinishing program offers training in areas, such as nonstructural and structural repair, estimating, and automotive painting. Those wishing to learn about automotive service technology can take an 1,800-hour course and those interested in diesel mechanics can enroll in a 1,950-hour program.
Through classroom instruction and clinical practice in the Associate of Science program Dental Hygiene/Assisting Degree Program, adult students are prepared for employment in multiple types of dental care offices. Skills acquired include exposing and processing dental X-rays, root planing, and polishing.
Graduates of this 1,150-hour Welding Technology program learn about various welding processes to prepare for the applied welder certification. Course topics cover gas metal, shielded metal, flux, gas tungsten arc, and work in large buildings that require comprehensive maintenance. The curriculum includes courses in electricity, air conditioning, and welding.
Students can enroll in a 63-credit Associate of Science in Early Childhood Management program that emphasizes the education, care, and guidance of children. They can also earn an Early Childhood Staff Credential by completing 610 hours of training.
Clearwater Adult Education Center is state-run education program that is part of the larger Pinellas County School System. Adult students in the county may take part in this program to earn a high school equivalency diploma, learn English, and learn other vocational skills.
Through the state of Florida's My Florida Families site, adults in the community may take childcare training courses. This program also involves the completion of a series of workshops provided by the Office of Child Care Regulation.
The Applied Academics for Adult Learners program offers classes that can help students improve their math, reading, and language arts skills in order to meet state mandated requirements for vocational programs. They may also complete this program to prepare for the GED and TABE exams.
The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at Clearwater provides ESL students with lessons needed to improve their English communication skills. It is structured to help students progressively improve English grammar and writing abilities, as well as prepare them for careers in the U.S. To determine what level of training students should start at, new students are required to take the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) test.
Whether a person is wanting to complete their high school education, learn new vocational skills, or become a proficient English speaker, there are a number of adult education programs offered in the Tampa area that can prepare students for employment. While some of these programs are offered by local school systems, many are offered by community colleges as certificate and associate degree programs.