Learn about Adult Education Courses
Adult Education provides an opportunity for mature students to achieve education levels equivalent to those of high school graduates. The Michigan Department of Career Development has begun a new performance system to measure adult student learning.
Who are Adult Education students?
More than 80,000 students are enrolled in Michigan Adult Education programs each year. While adult students average 30 years of age, each student must be more than 16 years old with education competencies below the level of high-school graduates. Detailed eligibility requirements differ by program type. For example, high-school graduates may qualify due to poor reading skills or lack of English language skills. General Educational Development (GED) students may be senior citizens, young mothers, recent immigrants, high-school dropouts, high-school graduates without adequate mathematics or reading skills, or others. The educational goals of Adult Education students include achieving a personal dream, learning to read, getting a better job, gaining access to postsecondary education, setting a good example for their children, and gaining citizenship, among others.
What do Adult Education students learn?
Adult Education instruction is tailored to meet the individual needs of adult students. Standardized tests identify existing skill levels, appropriate instruction, and academic gains due to instruction. Adult Education consists of these five components:
- High School Completion: Instruction designed to fulfill the requirements for a high school diploma.
- GED Test Preparation: Instruction in language arts, math, social studies, science, and writing, to enable successful completion of a GED test.
- Adult Literacy: Instruction in reading, English, language arts, math and civics for adults without a high-school diploma. The most basic literacy courses teach adults to read.
- English as a Second Language: Instruction in reading, speaking, writing, and understanding the English language.
- Labor Employment Related/Employer Workforce Readiness: Instruction in job- or employment-related mathematics, reading, and communication skills. Instruction may be "applied," which means that the academic material is directly related to specific job requirements.
More than 250 Adult Education programs are located throughout Michigan. A network of local literacy councils trains volunteers to mentor adults who need help with their literacy skills. Approximately 50% of Michigan's local public school systems operate an Adult Education program. Additionally, some intermediate school districts, community colleges, and nonprofit organizations offer Adult Education services.
For information about local Adult Education programs, contact your local Michigan Works! Service Center or call the Michigan Department of Career Development Adult Education unit at (517) 373-8439.