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Adult Education - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

Adult education provides educational opportunities and services to equip adults with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively as citizens, workers, parents, and family and community members. Instructional programs ensure that adults have the education and skills required in a competitive economy for a better quality of life.

Adult students are served by school districts, community colleges, community or faith-based organizations, volunteer literacy organizations, public or private nonprofit agencies, public libraries, correctional facilities, and state agencies.

The CDE serves over one million adult learners annually by allocating state and federal funds through its adult education provider network. For more information, contact the Adult Education Office at 916-322-2175. Additional information is available on the Adult Education Web page.

Populations

Adult education serves an increasingly diverse student population, including the following specialized groups:

Adult Immigrants—Adults who need language instruction and learning experiences that will permit them to communicate with English speakers; learn about the cultures and customs of the United States; and prepare for employment, citizenship, parenthood, and self-sufficiency.

Adults with Disabilities—Individuals with cognitive, physical, sensory, or medical disabilities or mental disorders. Adult education provides modified equipment, materials, and instructional strategies to increase literacy for both individuals and families as well as workplace skills.

Disadvantaged Adults—Low-income and hard-to-serve adults who demonstrate basic skills deficiency below the eighth-grade level. Adult education provides basic skills training, preparation for the General Educational Development (GED) test, preparation toward earning a high school diploma, and job skills training opportunities.

Homeless Adults—People who live in extreme poverty and often cannot afford to travel to adult education programs. Adult literacy services provide life skills instruction, connections with community resources, self-esteem support, and preparation for employment.

Incarcerated Adults—Individuals who are convicted of any criminal offense. Incarcerated adults are a significant portion of the hard-to-serve or “dropout” segment of the educational system. Correctional education programs provide educational and job-training services in technology, English as a second language, high school credit, and basic education programs to prepare inmates to be responsible citizens and successfully integrate into society.

Single Parents and Displaced Homemakers—Unemployed or underemployed individuals who provide unpaid services to family members. Adult education and agencies ensure that students receive needed services, such as child care, career counseling, vocational evaluation, and educational counseling. Use of distance-learning programs is a priority in working with these students.

Programs

Adult Basic and Secondary Academics—Elementary, basic skills and secondary courses required for high school diploma and to pass the California High School Exit Examination, GED test, or both. The primary objective is for students to learn basic literacy and numeric skills and enable adults to master high school courses and subjects leading to a diploma or certificate.

English as a Second Language (ESL)—Instruction to enable students with limited English proficiency to learn competency-based English. These courses encompass the skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, mathematics, decision making and problem solving, and preparation to participate in job-specific career and technical training. Students may use ESL instruction to gain life and employment skills, progress to career or academic programs, and become actively engaged in their communities.

Citizenship Preparation—Programs and courses for immigrants who are eligible for educational services in citizenship and civic participation. Classes offer instruction in history, geography, and government to prepare students for oral and written citizenship tests and becoming active participants in society.

Career Technical Education (CTE)—Classes offering a variety of career-training programs that deliver the customized curriculum needed to meet the diverse training and development needs of businesses. CTE offers programs promoting a skilled workforce with high growth and high wage employment potential, leading to industry certifications or meeting the required prerequisites and foundations for advanced career pathways. These courses, developed within designated Industry Career Clusters, may include academic career preparation and job readiness skills with possible apprenticeships or internships.

Adults with Disabilities—Classes designed to meet the needs of the students, offering an environment that builds self-esteem and encourages access to and participation in specialized courses for students to become self-reliant, productive, and effective community members.

Parenting, Family, and Consumer Awareness—Classes that promote the healthy development of children, high-quality family relationships, and children’s success in school. Classes in this program help individuals and families meet the challenges of daily living through health and financial literacy to improve the quality of home and family life.

Older Adults—Classes designed specifically to deal with issues related to aging. These classes provide intellectual, physical, financial, and social stimulation and resources addressing the demands of a growing and active older population.

Adult Education Learner Distribution by Instructional Program:
2005–06 Through 2008–09

(Data not collected past 2008-09 due to flexed Adult Education funding)

Program

2005–06
Enrollment

2005–06 Percent

2006–07
Enrollment

2006–07 Percent

2007–08
Enrollment

2007–08 Percent

2008–09
Enrollment

2008–09 Percent

Adult Basic
Education

62,410

5.4

63,626

5.3

81,976

6.6

76,516

6.3

English as a
Second Language

481,881

41.6

478,217

39.6

466,235

37.6

444,892

36.7

Adult
Secondary/GED

198,995

17.2

204,953

17.0

223,521

18.0

226,053

18.7

Citizenship

3,261

0.3

4,743

0.4

5,126

0.4

2,985

0.2

Career/Technical Education

158,652

13.7

168,535

14.0

177,636

14.3

180,494

14.9

Adults with
Disabilities

30,831

2.7

29,440

2.4

27,821

2.2

26,839

2.2

Health and
Safety

24,943

2.2

31,270

2.6

30,745

2.5

26,911

2.2

Home
Economics

17,924

1.5

18,813

1.6

19,178

1.5

17,371

1.4

Parent
Education

50,436

4.4

62,695

5.2

62,365

5.0

67,688

5.6

Older Adults

128,669

11.1

144,572

12.0

144,846

11.7

142,319

11.7

Total

1,158,002

100.0

1,206,864

100.0

1,239,449

100.0

1,212,068

100.0

Questions:   Adult Education Office | 916-322-2175
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