Adult Education Courses and Classes Overview
A variety of community colleges, vocational schools and other institutions provide adult education classes intended to help adult students to develop competency in reading, writing and math. These programs aim to help adults find and keep a job.
What are Adult Education Courses and Classes?
Workforce development programs are among the fastest growing programs offered at 2-year community colleges in many states. English as a Second Language programs are the fastest growing adult education programs, according to the Department of Education (www2.ed.gov). Adult education programs are designed for adults 16 years and older. Some areas of education are General Educational Development (GED) preparation, literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship and supplemental.
General Educational Development
Community colleges and adult education centers offer GED prep classes. Students can also complete GED courses online, or they can buy books that help prepare for the test. Public libraries usually have GED prep books available.
The GED test consists of five parts and was developed by the American Council on Education (ACE). Adults who do not have a high school diploma are eligible to take the test. Other requirements to take the GED test vary from state to state. The test includes sections on reading, writing, social studies, mathematics and science.
English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are divided into basic, intermediate and advanced classes. Basic grammar and writing introduces non-native speakers to English grammar and basic writing skills. Students learn vocabulary and reading skills in the first level. In the second level, students gain competency in written English. The third basic level focuses on grammar and writing skills.
Intermediate classes continue to focus on grammar and writing skills. Students improve their reading skills. Punctuation, spelling and the use of verbs and adverbs is introduced.
The advanced level of ESL teaches students how to structure sentences, paragraphs and essays. Students continue to study the basics of punctuation, spelling and speech.
The Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) develops adult education programs to teach adults the basic skills they need for finding a job and maintaining it. The three major areas are adult basic education, adult secondary education and English language acquisition. Students are taught basic skills in problem-solving, reading, writing, mathematics and competency in the English language. The DAEL funds state adult education programs using a formula established by Congress.
Adult education centers teach citizenship classes for adults preparing to take the U.S. citizenship and immigration services exam. Students learn about the rights and the responsibilities of citizenship. Courses are designed as a study guide for the citizenship exam. Adults are also taught how to access services and resources in the community.
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