A Guide to Adult Education Options

Adults who don't have a high school diploma or are interested in learning to speak English can pursue adult education programs at a variety of institutions. The various adult education options are discussed below.

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Adults have many options for continuing their education in a number of subjects. Discover several schools with adult education programs, and preview some of these programs to find out what you could learn.

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Schools and Programs

Adults looking to earn a high school equivalency or GED, or to improve their English skills, can find a variety of programs to meet their educational needs. Adult education centers are a good place to start. Many programs can be taken entirely for free (minus a registration fee in some cases). Some programs are entirely online. In addition, many public high schools and colleges organize programs to meet their community's educational needs. A few examples of schools that offer adult education programs include:

Schools At a Glance

TriDistrict Community Education

  • This school is located in Inver Grove Heights, MN.
  • A public college, it offers GED, ABE, and ESL programs.

ISD 279 Osseo Area Schools

  • This public school is located in Brooklyn Center, MN.
  • It offers GED, ABE, and ESL programs.

Park City Independent

  • This is a fully online adult high school.
  • ABE programs are offered at this institution.

Emily Griffith Technical College

  • This public school in Denver, CO primarily offers programs lasting less than two years.
  • GED, ABE, and ESL programs are available.

Green River College

  • This public school is located in Auburn, WA.
  • It offers GED, ABE, and ESOL programs.

GED and Adult High School

Adults who want to earn a GED can find a variety of preparation classes, including several available online. These courses help students study for the 4-part GED test, which covers general education concepts in math, science, social students, and language arts. A GED can help adults get a job or pursue higher education.

Other programs which offer a high school diploma may be found under other names, such as adult high school or adult secondary education. Adult high school offers courses that you would find in a traditional high school. These programs are generally designed for adults who are at least 18 years old and meet requirements set by individual states for obtaining diplomas. In addition to using previously earned high school credits, students may be able to apply work training and experience towards diploma requirements.

Where are These Programs Offered?

GED courses and adult high school programs are available at community colleges or technical institutes. Several private organizations offer these programs, including a variety of online options. The programs may also be available through a local high school or independent school district. Testing centers for the GED are located throughout each state, although not all locations that provide testing will also provide study courses.

Adult Basic Education

Adults who want to work on their math, writing, or reading skills can pursue basic education programs that teach these skills. Basic education can help adults find jobs or prepare for and take exams, such as the GED or college admissions tests. These programs are also useful for people who are new to the U.S. and need to learn essential skills to be self-sufficient.

Where Are These Programs Offered?

Numerous community colleges and public high schools offer these programs. Adult learning centers, private companies, and online organizations might also have adult basic education courses.

English Language Acquisition

Adults who are new to the U.S. or non-native English speakers can also find English language courses, such as English as a Second Language (ESL), English Language Learner (ELL), or English Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) programs. These literacy programs can fit your needs, whether you plan to get a job or start earning a degree. Some programs also offer citizenship classes for adults who want to become U.S. citizens.

Where are These Programs Offered?

Colleges and universities usually offer English language learning programs through their continuing education offices. Many public schools also offer these programs, generally as part of community education efforts.

Adult education is available for many different kinds of people, from those looking to complete high school, earn a diploma equivalency, or learn English as a second language. TriDistrict Community Education, ISD 279 Osseo Area Schools, Park City Independent, Emily Griffith Technical College, and Green River College all offer programs of this nature.

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