State Summaries



The Alabama State Board of Education oversees the Council on Adult Education. The Council directs the system of adult education programs in the state. In particular, the Adult Education and General Education Development Testing Division, housed in the Alabama Community College system, provides free basic skills instruction in reading, writing, math, English language competency, and GED test preparation as well as GED testing services. These courses are offered at no cost to state residents. The state legislature has appropriated funds for literacy and adult education programs and classes. The State Board of Education allows students to receive college credit through non-traditional means, however not more than 25 percent of total credit required for any program may be awarded through nontraditional means. (Last updated 2013).


The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the state's Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program. There are 13 regional ABE programs, four volunteer literacy centers, and one ABE program in state corrections facilities which provide some or all of the following ABE activities: instruction in the basic skills of reading, writing, and mathematics; instruction in preparing to take the GRE test; basic skills study through preparation for citizenship testing; and English literacy. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Division annually receives general funds from the state for ABE Programs including the State Training and Employment Program and the Alaska Technical and Vocational Education program. The University of Alaska Board of Regents policy on non-traditional learning provides students an opportunity to earn college credit for prior learning. (Last updated 2013).


The Arizona Department of Education coordinates the Arizona Adult Education (AAE) program which provides comprehensive literacy services to learners 16 years of age and older who are not enrolled in a K-12 school. The Arizona Adult Education program offers Adult Basic Education courses, GED preparation and adult secondary education classes, and English language acquisition for adults and civics classes. Up until 2010, the Arizona Adult Education program received both federal and state funding. Since 2010, however, AAE has only received federal funds due to state budget cuts. Yet, in 2012, for the second consecutive year, the Arizona Adult Education System was ranked fourth nationally for educational gains, producing over two grade level increases for less than $1,250 per student annually. During FY 2012, over 12,600 Arizona adults earned their high school diploma by passing the GED Test. According to Arizona state statute (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 15-782.02), school districts that offer career and technical education and vocational education programs can provide vocational education services to students regardless of the students' age or high school graduation status. Various postsecondary education programs in Arizona, such as dental hygiene schools, offer students the opportunity to receive credit for prior learning. There are several programs and initiatives in Arizona to retrain disabled military veterans and to provide education opportunities for eligible inmates. (Last Updated 2013).


The Arkansas Department of Career Education administers several adult education programs such as Adult Basic Education courses, GED preparation courses and test administration, English language classes for individuals whose native language is not English, the Correctional Education Program in which inmates can take courses and receive a GED, family literacy courses, and the Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy Program which offers academic and job skills instruction to unemployed and underemployed Arkansans. In 2012, the Arkansas State Board of Career Education approved and published new "Standards of a Quality Adult Education Program" for adult education programs in the state. The State Board of Career Education is advised by the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board and Adult Education Study Committee. According to state statute (Ark. Stat. Ann. ?25-30-103), the State of Arkansas and school districts are allowed to spend available tax funds on adult education below college level. (Last updated 2013).


The California Adult Education Program at the Department of Education administers the adult education system in the state. Adult Education Programs are offered by school districts and the California Community College System. School districts can create separate adult schools that offer a variety of classes including: literacy, English as a second language, career and technical, apprenticeships, and life skills. Currently, there are roughly 300 adult schools spread across the state. Some adult schools are located in elementary schools, allowing adults to take classes at the same time and location as their children. However, these adult schools have recently been subject to budget cuts. In 2009, the California Legislature began allowing school districts to use adult education funding for any educational purpose. In addition to district-run adult schools, all 112 colleges in the California Community College System offer adult education classes. California policy also provides education for incarcerated adults in basic education, GED, and English as a second language classes. (Last updated 2013)


The Colorado Department of Education's Adult Education and Family Literacy (CDE/AEFL) office oversees the administration of the state's adult education program. Colorado's adult education program is funded through the Title II Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Title II of WIA is under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) of 1998. It is a state-administered federal grant for adult education. WIA funds community-based organizations, community colleges, faith based organizations, school districts, and libraries. Across the state, 40 local programs offer the following education programs: adult basic education, adult secondary education, English as a second language, English literacy, civics education, family literacy, workplace education and workforce education. Colorado also has a correctional education program. In 2010, CDE/AEFL reevaluated the goals and strategies of its office for service and support related to adult education programs. This reevaluation produced the "Standards of Quality for Adult Education Programs in Colorado" document which reflects feedback collected from AEFLA-funded program directors and staff. This document is used at the local level by program directors for program improvement and at the state level by CDE/AEFL for monitoring AEFLA-funded adult education and family literacy programs for performance, fiscal management, and policy compliance. The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education offer students the opportunity to receive college credit for prior learning. By the 2013-14 school year, according to state statute (C.R.S.A. 23-1-125 ), all public institutions of higher education must design and implement a policy that gives students the opportunity for earning credit based on prior learning. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education advised the State to pass legislation allowing students who do not finish a bachelor's degree, but have enough credits for an associate's degree, be awarded an associate's degree. (Last updated 2013)


Adult Education programs are free to Connecticut residents aged 16 and older who are no longer enrolled in a public school. Instructional programs include basic literacy skills, English language acquisition, citizenship and secondary school completion including preparation for the high school equivalency exam (GED). Connecticut policy calls for a program of adult education in each local school district. Policy instructs districts to award adult students credit hours for experiential learning, previous credits, prior learning competencies, and independent study programs. The state issues grants to local districts to conduct these programs, which are combined with federal grants. The Adult Literacy Leadership Board was created in 2009 by state statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-11bb. And in 2012, the Planning Commission for Higher Education was developed to ensure the implementation by 2015 of a strategic master plan for higher education, including Adult Education Programs, in Connecticut. (Last updated 2013)


The Delaware Department of Education oversees the adult education and prison education programs in the State. Funds authorized in the Budget Appropriation Bill are allocated by the Department of Education to the state's adult basic education programs. Adult education provides academic instruction to adults (16 years of age and older) who are out of school. Programs include Adult Basic Education, English as a second language, GED instruction and testing centers, the James H. Groves Adult High School, Even Start Family Literacy, and prison education. Even Start and state-funded family literacy programs emphasize parents helping children with school work, building a solid literacy base by reading to their children, and/or applying more effective parenting strategies. Technical assistance is given to programs that develop basic skills and provide instruction to allow adults to earn a high school diploma. Adult students enrolled in classes or an adult basic education program are able to receive support services such as assistance with transportation and child care while they attend the educational or vocational training program according to statute (Del. Code Ann. tit.14 505). (Last updated 2013)


The State of Florida supports adult education and family literacy through 67 school districts, 28 community colleges, 11 universities, two Native American tribes, correctional agencies, volunteer literacy organizations, community-based agencies and organizations, and other public and private agencies. The major program areas are Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult Secondary Education (ASE), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). These programs emphasize basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and English language competency. Adult education programs also help adult learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. As of July 2011, students enrolled in any adult general education program, including programs at local jails or detention centers, with the exception of the Adult High School Co-enrolled Program, must be assessed tuition, which is $45 per half year or $30 per term only. According to Florida Statute (Fla. Stat. 1004.93), each district school board and each community/state college board of trustees may adopt tuition and out-of-state fees for adult learner programs. The Complete Florida Degree Program was established in 2013 for the purpose of recruiting, recovering, and retaining the state's adult learners and assisting them in completing an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree that is aligned to high-wage, high-skill workforce needs. The Complete Florida Degree Program is overseen by the University of West Florida, in coordination with Florida College System institutions, state universities, and private postsecondary institutions. State statute (Fla. Stat. 1004.096) enables eligible veterans of the US armed forces to receive college credits for college-level training and education acquired in the military. Additionally, these students are given priority course registration at each Florida College System institution and state university. (Last updated 2013)


The Office of Adult Education (OAE), which is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, oversees adult education programs in the state. The OAE facilitates collaboration among state and local entities to improve adult literacy efforts. In addition, the OAE administers federal and state funds to the following programs: adult basic education, adult secondary education (including GRE preparation), corrections education or other institutionalized settings, workplace literacy, work-based project learner, English language, and family literacy. According to Georgia State requirements, adult learners enrolled in adult education programs, including programs for adults with limited English proficiency are not charged tuition, fees, or any other charges, and are not required to purchase any books or any other materials that are needed for participation in the program. (Last updated 2013)


The adult education program in Hawaii is planned cooperatively with the Hawaii Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, College of Continuing Education, and the various community colleges. The Hawaii Department of Education currently supports 10 community schools on four islands that offer several adult education programs: basic adult education, adult literacy, GED preparation and testing, homemaking and parenting, community (civic) education, English literacy, and cultural, recreational, and social interest courses. Community schools offer two types of diplomas for adult learners: the GED and the Competency-Based Community School Diploma. The Competency-Based Community School Diploma Program (CBCSDP) provides an option for adults who do not have a high school diploma to obtain the Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma from the Community School for Adults. The CBCSDP curriculum is aligned with the adult learner standards, Equipped for the Future, and the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System Life and Work competencies. Adults enrolled in the CBCSDP must pay a $20 enrollment fee per course, $15 for each of five unit tests, and $5 for the Competency-Based Mastery Test. State statute (Hawaii Rev. Stat. 304A-802) allows adult learners to earn college credit at the University of Hawaii system for prior learning in previous course settings or for professional experience gained through service in the U.S. armed forces. (Last updated 2013)


The Idaho Adult Basic Education program is funded under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998 and is administered in Idaho by the Division of Professional-Technical Education. Funding is currently distributed to the six technical colleges in Idaho who then provide instruction at the local level. All providers are required to participate in a competitive application process in order to receive funding. Idaho ABE did not run a new competition for FY 2012-13 due to budget restraints. The mission of the Idaho Adult Basic Education Program is to provide quality, sustained instruction in reading, writing, math, and the English language, to help adults function successfully in the 21st century. ABE provides basic skills instruction to adults who fall below a 12th grade level in reading, writing, or math. The Idaho Professional Technical Education office also provides English literacy classes. Various technical colleges, state universities, and the Idaho Department of Corrections oversee the ABE program at the local level. Idaho statute (Idaho Code 33-3727) affords adult students the opportunity to earn academic college credit for education, training, or service completed during their time as a member of the U.S. armed forces, National Guard, or the military reserves of any state. The Idaho State Board of Education also awards college credit for prior learning for knowledge acquired from work and life experiences, mass media, independent reading and study, Advanced Placement, the College Level Examination Program, challenge courses, and competency testing. (Last updated 2013)


Adult education program content and governance are outlined in the "Public Community College Act" (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110, 805). The state manages a network of providers, programs, and services to provide adult basic education, adult secondary/general education development, English as a second language, and other instruction to prepare adult students for postsecondary education and work. The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) oversees Illinois' Adult Education and Family Literacy programs. In 2009, the ICCB convened the Strategic Planning Task Force to provide initial recommendations for a targeted five-year strategic vision for the state's adult education programs. In 2012, the state released content standards for language arts, mathematics, and English literacy for the adult education program. The ICCB Adult Education Fund is a dedicated fund used by the State Board for operational expenses associated with the administration of adult education and literacy activities and for the payment of costs associated with education and educational-related services to local eligible providers for adult education and literacy. Due to the continued absence of reauthorization of Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, of the federal Workforce Investment Act, the ICCB did not issue an open Request for Proposals for funding from ICCB for state and federal adult education funds for FY2012. (Last updated 2013)


The Indiana Department of Workforce Development oversees the state's adult education programs. The adult education programs in Indiana provide adult learners math, reading, and writing instruction free of charge. According to state statute (Ind. Code 22-4.1-18), adult students can sit for the GED exam to receive the GED diploma or sit for end-of-course assessments in Algebra I and/or English 10 for a high school diploma. Additionally, students can earn a GED and an occupational certificate simultaneously through the WorkINdiana program. The Indiana State Board of Education provides the Department of Workforce Development assessment instruments that allow adult learners the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in the particular subject and skill areas. Indiana law (Ind. Code 20-43-2-6) states that if the funds appropriated by the general assembly for adult education are insufficient to meet the budget set by the state board, then the Indiana budget agency can transfer excess money. In 2009, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce commissioned the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems to recommend policies and practices for improving Indiana's system of adult education and workforce training. Lastly, Indiana state statute (Ind. Code 21-42-7) requires that state educational institutions allow students to receive credit for courses they have taken as part of the individual's military service. (Last updated 2013)


Iowa's Department of Education oversees the state's adult literacy program that takes place across the state's 15 community colleges. Iowa's adult basic education, English literacy and ELL, family literacy, and GED program areas help adults acquire basic education skills. Any Iowa Community College receiving funding for the Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Program is required to develop a curriculum that makes it easy to move between adult basic education, GED, continuing education, and credit certificate, diploma, and degree programs according to State statute (Iowa Code 260H.7). Iowa school boards can provide evening schools and adult education programs. Any school board or community college that offers general adult basic education classes is required by statute (Iowa Code 279.50) to occasionally offer instructional programs in parenting skills and in human growth and development for parents, guardians, and prospective parents. (Last updated 2013).


Each school board in Kansas is authorized to implement and run an adult basic education program, either individually or in collaboration with other school boards. These programs must meet standards and criteria set by the state board and the school district or community college administering an adult education program is responsible for the cost of instruction, including teaching personnel and supplies. Tuition or fees can be charged by the board to offset the expense of operating adult education programs in part or in total. State law (Kan. Stat. Ann 71-617)allows the board of any school district to make an annual tax levy (not to exceed five years) to help maintain and operate their adult basic education program. In Kansas, teachers must be highly qualified in the subject that they teach. These school teacher licensure requirements are applied to adult education teachers only in cases where general education subjects are taught in adult basic education programs for grade school or high school credit. (Last updated 2013)


The Kentucky General Assembly passed the Kentucky Adult Education Act in 2000 and in 2006, the General Assembly created the Kentucky Adult Education Program, housed within the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, to implement their statewide adult education mission. The program initiated a 20-year statewide strategy to reduce the number of adults at the lowest levels of literacy and who were most in need of adult education and literacy services. At the same time, the Council created a special fund known as the Adult Education and Literacy Initiative Fund which consists of monies appropriated by the General Assembly, gifts, grants, and other funding sources. This Fund provides money for statewide adult education programming. Kentucky adult education funds adult education centers in all 120 counties and provides the following types of services: adult education, English language instruction, family literacy, workforce education, corrections education, virtual learning options for adult learners, and transitions to postsecondary education for GED recipients. As of 2010, any faculty and staff of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System teaching inmates are employed by and receive benefits from the Department of Corrections. Kentucky state statute (Ky. Rev. Stat. 164.0207) created the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development: Early Childhood through Adulthood to provide professional development for adult education providers, among others. Project Graduate is a joint effort between the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and state colleges to recruit and graduate former students who have earned at least 80 credits from a Kentucky institution. (Last updated 2013)


An adult education division of the Louisiana Department of Education was established by statute La. Rev. Stat Ann. 17:1871. But in 2010, Louisiana legislative action moved federal and state adult education program governance to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The Board of Supervisors at LCTCS renamed the Louisiana adult education program "WorkReadyU". There are currently 37 programs operating at more than 200 sites throughout Louisiana providing the following services: basic skills remediation, secondary credential preparation, wraparound student services, transitional services, and postsecondary dual enrollment. Also in 2010, Louisiana revised Statute La. Rev. Stat Ann. 17:221 such that adult students between 16 and 18 years of age who submit to the adult education or vocational education site director a signed form by the local school system's superintendent if they had left public school. The Louisiana Inmate Rehabilitation and Workforce Development Act allows inmates the opportunity to receive training and credits in technical education. Once inmates complete the necessary coursework, they can participate in the workforce development work release program. Lastly, the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Southern Regional Education Board have a joint initiative called the Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana (CALL). The goal of CALL is to make it easier for Louisiana adults without a college degree to enroll in at a Louisiana public college or university and earn a credential or degree. As of 2013, CALL offers 29 online degree programs from 11 public colleges or universities across the state. (Last updated 2013)


The Maine Department of Education oversees the state's Adult Education Program which provides the following services to residents of the State: English literacy and adult basic education courses, adult high school completion and GED programs, the Maine College Transitions Program for adults working toward college credit, and workforce development. There are over 80 local adult education programs administered throughout Maine. These programs are funded through federal, local, and state resources as well as registration fees and grants. Adult education programs have the option of charging students registration, laboratory, and/or material fees according to statute (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A 8609). State statute (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A 8612) requires that adult education programs ensure that their students are provided with information about other state departments and agencies that support adult education students such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor. Lastly, adults can receive training through the Governor's Training Initiative, a joint program of the Maine Department of Labor and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. This program provides training for firms intending to expand or locate in Maine or upgrade worker skills. (Last updated 2013)


In 2008, Maryland statute (Md. Labor and Employment Code Ann. 11-801) established an Adult Education and Literacy Services Office which is housed within the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation as part of the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning. This Office was and still is intended to be the sole agency in the state responsible for administering and supervising policy and funding for adult education and literacy. Before 2008, the state's adult education program was directed by the Maryland Department of Education. A Workforce Creation and Adult Education Transition Council was formed through state statute (Md. Labor and Employment Code Ann. 11-803) in 2008 to coordinate the integration of Adult Education and Literacy Services with the Division of Workforce Development and its programs. This Council is responsible for identifying all the state agencies that offer adult education programs as well as creating a plan which promotes collaboration between these various agencies for adult education, literacy, and correctional education programming. Maryland's Adult Education and Literacy Services Office provides the following programs: basic adult education classes, English language classes, and high school diploma preparation classes. Students can earn a high school diploma by successfully completing the GED tests or by completing the National External Diploma Program. The Maine Department of Education offers a variety of literacy, remedial reading, GED preparation, science, and college preparation math courses to qualified inmates. Lastly, board policy (University System of Maryland Board of Regents Policy VIII-2.31) allows veterans or current members of the U.S. Armed Forces to receive academic credit in undergraduate programs for experience, education, or training obtained during military service. (Last updated 2013).


Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS), a unit within the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, oversees the state's adult basic education program. ACLS, with federal and state grant monies, funds a variety of programs taking place in local school systems, community-based agencies, community colleges, libraries, volunteer organizations, and correctional facilities. Programming includes basic education, English language literacy, high school equivalency/adult diploma programs, family literacy, heath education, distance learning, workplace education, and technology. Massachusetts law (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15D 5) allows adults to earn credit for prior learning related to early education and childcare. In accordance with Massachusetts state statute (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71A 8), five million dollars per year is allocated for the purpose of funding free or subsidized programs of adult English language instruction to parents or other members of the community with the intent that they can then provide personal English language tutoring to Massachusetts school children who are English learners. Lastly, there are several financial aid programs in Massachusetts that are targeted to adults. MA legislation funds the One Family, Inc. Scholarship Program and the Educational Rewards Grant Program Fund to provide scholarship support to homeless adults pursuing education. State statute (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 15A 16) mandates that participating approved Massachusetts institutions of higher education receive an allocation from the Council so that they can provide grant or work study assistance to eligible adult learners with demonstrated financial need. (Last updated 2013).


The adult education program in Michigan is housed in the state's Department of Labor and Economic Growth. Michigan's adult education program provides instruction in the following areas: high school completion, GED test preparation, adult literacy, English as a second language, and labor employment related/ employer workforce readiness. The Michigan New Jobs Training Program allocates some income tax money to community colleges so that they can train more adult workers for employers that are creating new jobs and/or expanding operations in Michigan (Mich. Comp. Laws 389.162). Effective July 1, 2012, Michigan enacted an assessment policy (Mich. Comp. Laws 408.213) which all local providers of adult education must follow. This policy outlines Michigan Adult Education guidelines for placing and assessing progress of all adult basic education, GED, high school completion, and English language students in the correct class. All adults must be on a learning plan that meets the specific content standards of each program. Additionally, Michigan maintains a database of classes and participants called the Michigan Adult Education Reporting System (MAERS), which is a web-based service to collect required student data. (Last updated 2013).


The Minnesota Department of Education oversees the state's adult basic education and GED completion program. The adult basic education program in Minnesota encompasses the following courses and programs: adult diploma, GED, English as a second language, family literacy, basic skills enhancement, workplace literacy, and U.S. citizenship/civics. Over 500 sites are mostly run by public school districts, but also by non-profit organizations, some technical colleges, and state and local correctional institutions. Minnesota state statute (Minn. Stat. 124D.52) states that any school board or governing body of a consortium offering an adult basic education program can adopt a sliding fee schedule based on a family's income, but must waive the fee for participants who are under the age of 21 or unable to pay. As of 2006, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities must recognize and provide academic credit for courses that were part of a veteran's military training as long as the courses meet American Council on Education standards. In 2008, Minnesota State Colleges and University Board Policy (3-35) stated that system colleges and universities begin providing credit for prior learning in non-credit or experiential settings. Lastly, each adult basic education program in Minnesota must develop and utilize a performance tracking system as of 2000. (Last updated 2013).


In 1993, Mississippi state statute (Miss. Code Ann. 37-35-1) authorized and directed the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges to create and implement an adult basic education program. Effective July 1, 1999, state statute (Miss. Code Ann. 37-35-3) required that all state-funded industrial training programs and postsecondary adult short-term training programs be administered by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges (they had formerly been administered by the Mississippi Department of Education). The State Board of Education is authorized to develop and establish special education and skill training programs to fill specific employment opportunities in areas of the state that have both employment opportunities and able-bodied unemployed and underemployed groups of adults, with priority to be given to unemployed adults. This program is usually administered by the Division of Vocational and Technical Education in community/junior colleges and sometimes in secondary school systems wherever practical. Mississippi statute (Miss. Code Ann. 37-153-11) stipulates that as of July 1, 2012, workforce development centers are to be affiliated with a separate public community or junior college district. Basic literacy skills training, high school equivalency education, and short-term skills training for adults are some of the services to be offered in these workforce development centers. Statute (Miss. Code Ann. 37-4-11) also requires that the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges prepare and submit an annual report on program activities, adult participation, and results to the Mississippi Legislature. Until 2016, employers can receive a tax credit for providing basic skills training or retraining programs. (Last updated 2013).


In Missouri, the Office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services, located in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, oversees the adult education program for the state. This office supports over 40 programs statewide that provide adult basic education including preparation for GED testing, English language, adult literacy, veterans? education, and vocational rehabilitation programs. State statute (Mo. Rev. Stat. 171.091) allows school boards to offer and fund adult education programs using district monies. These adult basic education programs are required to provide English language services for nonnative speakers who need assistance in learning English. Statute (Mo. Rev. Stat. 161.227) requires that these English language services include family and home-based curriculum and programs designed to improve the English language skills of all family members. By 2014, the Missouri State Board of Education is required by statute (Mo. Rev. Stat. 173.005) to create a reverse transfer policy such that students attending a four year institution with enough credits to receive an associate?s degree can leave school and still receive at least an associate?s degree. (Last updated 2013).


The Montana Office of Public Instruction oversees the Division of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. This Division coordinates the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE), Career and Technical Education (CTE), General Education Development (GED), and Veteran's Education/State Approving Agency (SAA) programs. State statute (Mont. Code Ann. 20-7-702) provides that the trustees of a district or community college district may establish and operate an adult education program at any time of the day when facilities and personnel are available. In addition, statute (Mont. Code Ann. 20-7-704) gives districts and community colleges the authority to charge tuition for instruction and to charge fees for the use of equipment and materials for any of the adult basic education programs. The amount of such tuition and fees is determined on a per-course basis or on the basis of the cost of the entire adult education program. The state allows the governing body of a county to create a fund and levy a tax on the taxable value of property in the county in order to support literacy programs specifically for adults. Community colleges are considered a district for the purposes of adult education and under statute (Mont. Code Ann. 15-10-420), can levy a tax for its superintendent-approved adult education program. (Last updated 2013).


The State Department of Education in Nebraska oversees the Adult Education Program. The Commissioner of Education disburses funds appropriated for the State Department of Education for supervision, instruction, and other expenses in conducting the Adult Education Program. Beginning with FY2012-13, the Legislature appropriated $200,000 annually for three years for grants for new bridge programs. The programs are specifically for low-income students co-enrolled in adult education, developmental education, or English as a second language and postsecondary education. The Adult Basic Education program in Nebraska provides adults the opportunity to improve their literacy skills and helps them prepare for and successfully complete the high school equivalency program. Courses of instruction include basic educational skills, English, history, civics, and other subjects can increase one's job prospects. The Nebraska Legislature urges the state's community colleges to be dedicated to public service, including offering adult continuing education programs. Under state statute (Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-1201.21), the Department of Economic Development oversees the Job Training Cash Fund which provides monies for job training programs that help industries and businesses locate or expand in Nebraska. (Last updated 2013).


The Nevada Department of Education oversees the state's adult education program, within which there are three specific programs. The Adult Basic Education program and the English as a Second Language program both take place in community and faith-based organizations as well as community colleges throughout the state. In contrast, the Adult High School program is offered in multiple school districts in Nevada and in the Department of Corrections facilities. Adult students can earn a high school diploma after earning necessary credits and passing proficiency exams through the Adult High School Program. State statute (Neb. Rev. Stat. 389.674) allows adult students to receive credit toward completion of an adult high school program for coursework or experiences outside the adult high school program. According to state statute (Neb. Rev. Stat. 388.676) in Nevada, prison inmates can reduce their sentence by earning a GED or by completing the Adult High School program that is conducted jointly by the local detention facility and neighboring school district. The Adult High School Reporting System is the accountability system for the state-funded, district-administered Adult High School Education Program. (Last updated 2013)

New Hampshire

The Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning, housed within the Department of Education, oversees some of the adult and continuing education programs that involve certification of adult learners at the high school level in New Hampshire. Each school district that can account for at least 20 or more people over the age of 18 who cannot read or speak the English language is required to offer a school for these adults. 20 school districts across the state offer the Adult High School diploma option. New Hampshire state policy also supports regional vocational centers that provide academic opportunities for school drop outs and disadvantaged adults. Lastly, state statute (N.H. Rev. Stat. 194:60) requires that New Hampshire establish a special school district within the Department of Corrections with the purpose of providing approved education programs to eligible adult offenders under the age of 21. (Last Updated 2013)

New Jersey

The Office of Adult and Continuing Education and High School Equivalency within the New Jersey State Department of Education oversees the high school equivalency certificate program. School districts, county community colleges, county and State institutions may apply to the Commissioner of Education for funds to be used toward the establishment and operation of classes and programs for adult education designed to provide these students with the equivalent of a high school education. Each school district employing a supervisor of adult education receives funding from the state equal to two-thirds the supervisor's annual salary. According to New Jersey statute, any school district's board can implement and run an adult education program using district buildings. In addition, school districts are allowed to charge tuition for their adult education courses. In 1999, state statute required the formation of a council for adult literacy education services within the State Employment and Training Commission. The role of this council is to facilitate Statewide and local policy development, planning, and oversight of an adult education program (Last updated 2013).

New Mexico

The Adult Basic Education (ABE) Division of the New Mexico Higher Education Department (HED) serves adults, 16 years of age and older, who function below the high school completion level. Adult Basic Education became a division of the New Mexico Higher Education Department in 2005. New Mexico community colleges house the majority of the 28 ABE programs in the state. The purpose of Adult Basic Education Programs is to provide opportunities for: learning basic literacy skills; placement and retention in employment and workplace programs; obtaining a GED; enrolling in post-secondary education programs; and learning English as a second language (ESL) and Civics. New Mexico HED is required to distribute money for adult basic education programs, including funding for instructional materials for adult basic education students, equally. In 1988, the New Mexico Corrections Department mandated that adult correctional institutions implement an education program for all inmates. (Last updated 2013)

New York

New York divides adult education into career and basic education. State policy calls for the board of education of each school district and the board of cooperative educational services to maintain an approved career education program and to appoint an advisory council for career education. This council advises the board of education and/or board of cooperative education on policy matters related to career education. School districts are encouraged to establish and maintain day and evening schools that include basic education, civic understanding, vocational, and general education programs for adults. The state maintains a school-to-work and a Bridges to Employment program. The Department of Corrections also offers education programs to inmates. (Last updated 2013)

North Carolina

The State Board of Education in North Carolina is required to establish as part of the public school system an adult education program according to state statute (N.C. Gen. Stat. 115C-231). Local school boards can implement and support these adult education programs using local funds. State statute requests that tuition be free of charge to every person over the age of 18 who has not completed a standard high school course of study. The Community Colleges System Office is designated as the primary lead agency for delivering workforce development training, adult literacy training, and adult education programs in North Carolina. In 2011, the Commission on Workforce Development initiated the "No Adult Left Behind" Initiative, with the goal of increasing the percentage of North Carolinians earning associates degrees, other two-year education credentials, and baccalaureate degrees. The Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety is allowed to use funds to develop academic, vocational, and technical education programs for inmates of the state prison system. (Last Updated 2013).

North Dakota

The superintendent of public education in North Dakota coordinates all adult basic and secondary education programs. Adult education programs are available to any individual over sixteen years old who is unable to attend public school in the state. Federal funds, state appropriations, and local support provide funding for the state's adult education programs. Adult learners can earn college credit for prior learning and articulated credit. North Dakota correctional facilities have the option of providing educational, career and technical education, counseling, and work release opportunities to inmates. (Last updated 2013)


Adult education in Ohio is divided into three areas: Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE), Adult Workforce Education (AWE) and GED programs. ABLE programs are governed through a state plan that includes needs assessment information, a description of Ohio's adult education and literacy activities, state performance and quality measures, strategies for serving target populations, procedures for local service providers to seek funding, the program for serving institutionalized adults, and state leadership activities. AWE programs are a partnership between business/industry and the state to provide career-technical education to prepare adults for the workforce, primarily using WorkKeys training. GED programs are administered in centers throughout the state. According to state statute (Ohio Rev. Code 3313.52), the board of education of any city, exempted village, or local school district may organize an evening school for adults. Any person older than 18 years old can attend as long as they pay tuition if required by the local board. The Department of Education in Ohio distributes state funds to organizations that qualify for federal funds under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. Each program receiving these funds must file program performance reviews. Adult learners aspiring to obtain a high school diploma can earn high school credit through work experience or experiences as a volunteer, completion of academic, vocational or self-improvement courses, other life experiences considered by the local board to provide knowledge and learning experiences comparable to that gained in a classroom setting. (Last updated 2013)


Oklahoma offers a variety of services at local Adult Learning Centers throughout the state, including: literacy and basic skills, workplace education, ESL, corrections education, GED, and family literacy. The Oklahoma Quality Program Action Plan provides a framework for adult education program accountability and improvement. The Oklahoma Department of Education, Lifelong Learning Section, measures progress through federal and state indicators of program quality. Measures include a variety of reports and self-assessments, in addition to onsite technical assistance visits and Adult Education and Literacy Program Reviews. All local programs must submit an annual Program Action Plan. The board of education of any school district can provide educational facilities and programs, such as vocational and adult education courses, above the twelfth grade, and are known as a Municipal Junior College. The State Board of Education matches school districts' funds if they offer courses leading to a GED. Reach Higher, the State's degree completion program-offers associate's degrees in business administration or general studies for working adults who already have at least 18 credit hours and bachelor's degrees in organizational leadership for working adults who have at least 72 credit hours. Inmates who are eligible for work release programs, parole, or release, are able to take education, rehabilitation, and/or vocational-technical training courses through the Department of Corrections. (Last updated 2013)


The Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development oversee the adult education programs in the State. This Department administers federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act funds to local providers and provides local programs with leadership and training in order to assure quality basic skills services for adults across Oregon. The purpose of the Adult Basic Skills Program is to assist adults in obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for work, further education, family self-sufficiency, and community involvement. Basic skills include reading, writing, math, speaking/listening in English, GED and adult high school preparation, and basic computer literacy. The agency's Dislocated Worker Unit is the state's clearinghouse for Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification information, and works closely with local program providers to deliver services to workers affected by layoffs and closures. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission works with the State Board of Higher Education, community college districts, and independent for-profit and not-for-profit institutions of higher education to increase the number of students who receive academic credit for prior learning that can be counted towards their degree, certificate, or credential. According to statute (Ore. Rev. Stat. 351.646), a person serving in the US armed forces can receive college credit for education and training obtained during their service. Lastly, the Administrator of Correctional Education administers an adult basic skills development program for all inmates in the Department of Corrections. (Last updated 2013)


Adult basic education programs funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE), provide a full range of instructional services that address the needs of educationally disadvantaged adults. State statute (Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 44 6406) created the Interagency Coordinating Council with the purpose of establishing a statewide system of adult and family literacy education services. Funds granted under Title II of the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) provide adult basic education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), and preparation for the GED programs and instruction. Adult Literacy programs funded under State Act 143 of 1986 support adult literacy education programs, training for volunteer tutors, outreach, and support services. In general, no more than 20 percent of state appropriations for education can be used for adult education and literacy programs. Areas of program emphasis may address the unique needs of various target populations such as adults with learning disabilities or adults upgrading their basic skills for the workplace. School districts can receive reimbursement from the commonwealth for providing evening high school classes, non-credit courses, citizenship classes, and adult education for the blind. According to statute (Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 71 310-6), the Department of Corrections is required to provide academic and vocational education to adult inmates incarcerated in State correctional institutions. (Last updated 2013)

Rhode Island

Rhode Island coordinates adult education programs through the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Office of Adult Education administers programs in Adult Basic Education, GED, and English for Speakers of Other Languages. These programs are funded by tuition and fees paid by students as well as federal, state, and local government monies. State Policy establishes that all adult education programs and services are designed and implemented with a local control model known as "community education". There are currently 37 programs across the State that offer adult education learning services. State statute (R.I. Gen. Laws 42-56-19) requires that the Department of Corrections maintain an education and vocational training program for eligible inmates. (Last updated 2013)

South Carolina

Adult education in South Carolina is governed by the State Board of Education (SBE). The SBE determines and enforces regulations for all major aspects of adult education programs. Housed within the State Department of Education, the Office of Adult Education oversees all adult education programs designed to provide lifelong learning, health, and service opportunities for adults. The Office of Adult Education and any state agency that offers career, technical, occupational, or adult education must provide annual reports to the Board of Education according to Statute (S.C. Code Ann. 59-54-60). Local technical college commissions and neighboring school boards work together to ensure coordinated and cohesive implementation of career, technical, and adult education. Adult education programs led by local school districts are funded by federal, state, county, school district, and other sources. The Director of the Department of Corrections must work with the local school district board to implement and maintain academic, vocational, and trade courses for inmates. According to statute (S.C. Code Ann. 59-112-50), military personnel stationed in South Carolina are entitled to in-state tuition at any public institution of higher education (Last updated 2013)(Last updated 2008)

South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Labor oversees the state's Adult Education and Literacy programs. According to statute (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. 13-28-35) any school district running an adult education program may charge students tuition at a rate determined by the local school board. If a school district has space, the school board can allow residents of the school district who are over the age of 21 to attend school free of charge. The Department of Corrections offers educational programming including literacy, academic, and vocational classes to inmates. Inmates are responsible for paying tuition for educational programs according to statute (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. 24-2-28). Any state resident who is a member of the National Guard of South Dakota is eligible to attend a vocational program at half the cost of normal tuition. Adult students returning to higher education may apply for academic amnesty for prior coursework in which they received poor grades. Adult learners are also able to receive college credit for prior learning. (Last updated 2013)


The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development manages the State Office of Adult Education. The Adult Education Office offers programs in literacy, employment skills, parenting, and high school completion. In 2013, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Adult Education, worked with the Department of Education and the Office of Research and Education Accountability to determine the manner in which HOPE scholarships can be awarded to adult learners obtaining their GED. The HOPE scholarship is for residents who have completed military service within 7 years of applying to postsecondary education, provided that these students did not enroll in postsecondary education before serving in the military. In Tennessee, according to statute (Tenn. Code Ann. 49-6-3104), adult learners are allowed to opt into school districts other than their local school system. Adult high school students may receive high school credit via multiple pathways including contact hours, online programs, independent study under the guidance of a teacher, or work experience. The Tennessee Department of Corrections offers educational programming for inmates, including literacy, community college courses, and vocational and technical training. According to statute (Tenn. Code Ann. 41-21-238), the effectiveness of these education programs must be documented. This includes number of participants, material learned, employment gained, and rate of recidivism. (Last updated 2013)


Adult education is managed through Texas LEARNS, a program that provides nondiscretionary grant management, program assistance and other statewide support services to Texas adult education and family literacy providers. State funds are available to local school districts, community colleges, public non-profit agencies, and community based organizations for the implementation of adult education programs including basic education, bilingual education, high school equivalency, and high school credit programs. The Texas Education Agency Division of Discretionary Grants is responsible for all discretionary, policy, and monitoring functions. Program effectiveness is monitored through the Texas Educating Adults Management System (TEAMS). Through the College Credit for HEROES Program, military personnel and veterans can receive college credit for military experience, education, and training obtained during active duty. To reduce recidivism rates, the Department of Corrections provides inmates with education, life skills and employment training. State legislation (Tex. Educ. Code Ann. 47.29) mandates that adult basic education be aligned with postsecondary readiness standards. (Last updated 2013)


The Utah State Office of Education houses the Office of Adult Education. Adult education in Utah consists of programs and services for individuals over the age of 16 who have left high school and do not have a high school diploma, for individuals needing English language acquisition courses, and for individuals who need basic skills development. The Office uses UTopia, an online data tracking program of student outcomes in all adult education programs across the state to ensure compliance with federal and state standards and guidelines. State funds are appropriated every year to local school districts for adult education programs. According to statutes (Utah Code Ann. 53A-15-401 and Utah Code Ann. 53A-15-403), local school boards can implement classes for adult education, raise and appropriate their own funds for the adult education program, and charge tuition on a sliding scale for adults participating in adult education programs. Utah community colleges are also responsible for offering adult and continuing education along with vocational and technical education. Utah offers military personal and veterans the opportunity to receive college credit for prior learning and experience in the military. As a way to reduce recidivism rates, according to statute (Utah Code Ann. 53A-1-403.5), the State Board of Education and the Utah Department of Corrections are responsible for providing education opportunities for inmates. If the corrections facility is located within the service region of a community college, the community college takes responsibility for providing education opportunities. If the community college is unable to provide education programming, then the corrections facility can partner with other private or public agencies. (Last updated 2013)


Vermont's adult education and literacy programs are offered through Learning Works, Vermont's Adult Education & Literacy System, which is made up of 10 full-service centers and three satellite centers across the state. Full-service centers provide a range of services, from beginning to advanced literacy in math, reading, writing, interpersonal skills, workplace skills, general educational development (GED), adult diploma programs, English to speakers of other languages (ESOL), and basic computer instruction. Students ages 16-22 who have not yet received a high school diploma can participate in a "graduation education plan" in which the student works with a school district to complete a GED. The State reimburses school districts for any student on a "graduation education plan". According to statute (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 16 1541), school districts with a technical education center must provide adult technical education courses. The Department of Corrections is required to maintain an education program for inmates at each corrections facility. These programs are approved by the State Board of Education as an independent school under statute (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 16 166,) and all inmates under the age of 23 without a high school diploma are required to participate. (Last updated 2013)


The Virginia Department of Education supports adult education and literacy in Virginia primarily by funding and supporting the programs at the local level. Each locality or region has an adult education program manager and instructional specialists. Regional Literacy Coordinating Committees meet on a regular basis to discuss how to improve adult education and literacy services in the region which often involves collaborations among businesses, local programs, and other agencies. Services are delivered by local school boards, community colleges, community-based organizations, employers, state, local and regional correctional facilities, and state institutions. Community-based literacy programs offer tutoring and other one-on-one or small group instructional approaches delivered primarily by volunteers. According to statute (Va. Code 53.1-67.8), correction facilities in Virginia must offer education programs which include elementary, secondary, post-secondary, career and technical education, and adult education. Active military personnel and veterans can get instate tuition without the typical one-year waiting period and can apply applicable military training, education, or experience to any license, permit, or certificate required for employment and/or receive credit at the postsecondary level. (Last updated 2013)


The Advisory Council on Adult Education within the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges governs adult education programs in the state. This Council works to ensure the availability and quality of adult literacy and basic skills services by advocating for programs, supporting and expanding partnerships, implementing policies, and securing resources for adult literacy and basic skills. One major adult education program in Washington is the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST), which pairs adult education or English as a Second Language (ESL) with workforce training. In 2012, the Prior Learning Assessment Work Group was convened by the Washington Student Achievement Council on behalf of legislation (Wash. Rev. Code 28B.77.230) to develop and implement a state-wide system for awarding college credit for prior learning. Washington provides adult learners the opportunity to gain college credit from work and life experience, military training and experience, and formal and information education. If there are funds available, the Department of Corrections can implement postsecondary education degree programs in correctional facilities. These programs can be part of a technical, associates, baccalaureate, masters, or other graduate degree program. Although inmates are required to pay tuition, a third party can make payments or donations toward tuition costs on behalf of the inmates. (Last updated 2013)

Washington D.C.

According to statute (D.C. Code Ann. 38-1011.04), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Adult and Family Education (OSSE AFE) is responsible for awarding federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) and local funding to community-based organizations that offer Adult Basic Education, adult secondary education, English as a second language, English literacy/civics, and family literacy services to residents of the District of Columbia. Beginning in 2010, the OSSE AFE awarded funding to 22 program providers to implement six new service models that integrate adult education services with workforce transition and/or postsecondary education transition services. Programs offering more intensive models receive more funding. One particular program, the Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning Initiative, aims to make a difference in the lives of District residents through adult education programs offered throughout the city by DC government agencies and community-based programs. Another program, the Evening, Weekend, and Summer Adult Technical Career Training Program takes place at three high schools in DC. The District of Columbia Board of Education is authorized to charge fees for all adult, community, and continuing education courses, according to statute (D.C. Code Ann. 38-1002). As of 2012, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education annually reports to the Mayor and the Council on the capacity of District-funded service providers to meet the need and demand for adult literacy services in D.C. (Last updated 2013)

West Virginia

The Division of Technical and Adult Education Services within the State Department of Education oversees adult education programs in West Virginia. The goal of adult education in West Virginia is to work in partnership with K-12 educators, colleges, and universities to prepare adult students to be competitive in the 21st Century workplace. The state offers a wide variety of programs including basic education, literacy, and workforce readiness. The Learn and Earn Cooperative Education Program (W. Va. Code 18B-3D-6) allows students to earn money by working for participating employers while attending technical or community college. The state's adult literacy education program is funded by donated dollars from individual personal income tax returns. Adult learners of West Virginia can take advantage of the Higher Education Adult Part-time Student (HEAPS) grant program to help fund their education. West Virginia hopes to reduce recidivism rates by implementing bootcamps in correctional facilities (W. Va. Code 25-6-1). These bootcamps provide academic and vocational education among other services. (Last updated 2013)


The Wisconsin Technical College System oversees the State's adult education program. Local school districts can implement and charge tuition for vocational and technical education programs for adult learners. Adult learners can earn college credit for prior learning as long as they demonstrate competency through tests, portfolios, and other measures. The UW Flexible Option provides adult learners an accessible and affordable way to earn a bachelor's or master's degree. This is a competency-based degree program. Throughout the state, statute (Wis. Stat. 38.24) makes sure that postsecondary and vocational adult education programs offer uniform program fees. Students enrolled in adult high school, adult basic education, and English as a second language courses are exempt from these fees. Under statute (Wis. Stat. 38.04), the State Board of Vocational, Technical, and Adult Education has the ability to establish vocational education programs for inmates housed in the State's correctional facilities. (Last updated 2013)


In Wyoming, the board of trustees of any school district has the authority to establish and maintain an adult education program under statute (Wyo. Stat. 21-12-102). School districts can set their own tuition and fee rates for adult education courses. Public school districts offer adult education, GED, English as a Second Language programs. In addition, the community college commission is required to provide adult basic education and GED programs. According to statute (Wyo. Stat. 19-14-106), military veterans are eligible to receive free tuition if they are attending any state secondary, postsecondary, or technical institution. (Last updated 2013)