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The Adult Education Ecosystem

The world of adult education is as varied and diverse as the learners themselves.

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Adult Learning: Then & Now

Adult education as a concept first cropped up in the 1800s. Initially, adult education programs were focused primarily on promoting literacy skills and providing cultural education to new immigrants. In the early 20th century, vocational training and adult basic education programs became more prevalent. In the years post-WW2, the government began implementing policies to provide ongoing federal funding for adult ed programs. Today, adult education programs nationwide support millions of learners each year in attaining their education and career goals.

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The Many Types of Adult Education

Adult learners have incredibly diverse backgrounds, goals, and barriers to overcome. A wide variety of programs make up the adult ed ecosystem that serves these individuals.

adult basic education

Adult Basic Education

ABE courses focus on basic literacy and numeracy skills and are designed to bring students up to an eighth-grade competency level.

adult secondary education

Adult Secondary Education

Adult secondary education focuses on grades 9-12 equivalency, preparing students for degree attainment.

high school equivalency

High School Equivalency

These programs prepare learners to take high school equivalency tests, such as GED, HiSET, and TASC, and obtain an HSE degree.

english as a second language

English as a Second Language

ESL courses are designed to help non-native English speakers learn or improve their English language skills.

adult literacy

Adult Literacy

Literacy programs help adult native and non-native English speakers improve their reading skills, often in conjunction with other programs.

career and technical education

Career & Technical Education

CTE programs prepare learners for entry into a specific career pathway, often through learning a trade skill.


Want to Learn More?

Check out our blog for articles on the latest adult ed news and industry insights.

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Workforce Development + Adult Ed: Collaboration Strategies for Maximized Impact

In today's rapidly shifting job market, the collaboration between adult education programs and workforce development...
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5 Emerging Trends in Adult Education

In today’s rapidly changing world, adult educators must be on the cutting edge of education trends to give their...
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Unraveling Measurable Skills Gains: How to Simplify WIOA Performance Reporting

Measurable Skills Gains (MSGs) are a fundamental aspect of evaluating participant progression in WIOA-funded programs...

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