Adult Education

What is adult education? Adult education teaches adult learners the foundational skills needed to succeed in the workforce. Depending on the population served and their needs, it can involve several approaches:

  • basic instruction in math, reading, writing, or other areas
  • preparation to earn a high school equivalency credential for those without a high school diploma
  • English language instruction for those who need to improve their language skills to succeed in the workforce

Some providers integrate adult education into technical skills training to support student success and accelerate learning. Other providers offer bridge programs to help adults who are academically underprepared meet the minimum requirements for postsecondary education and training programs.

Who provides adult education? Colleges, community-based organizations, and departments of education.

Why is adult education important? Adults and youth ages 16 and older may lack the foundational academic or language skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education and training and the workforce. They may not have earned a high school diploma or are academically underprepared to enroll in college or other training courses. These people may struggle with the English language and need instruction to build their language skills. Recognizing the importance of basic or foundational skills for success in the workforce, the public workforce system includes funding to support related education programs. Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act includes funding for states to support adult education.