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Education and literacy are keys to a better quality of life. According to the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, nearly 750,000 Virginia adults do not have a high school diploma or high school credential, and many more lack literacy in key areas such as math or business skills.
To serve these populations, adult education and literacy programs across the state offer the following services:
Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) Funded Programs
- Adult Basic Education (ABE) – ABE programs are designed to help adults improve their skills in reading, writing, mathematics, language acquisition and other basic skills. Students working below the ninth-grade level receive help to transition to Adult Secondary Education.
- English as a Second Language (ESL) – ESL programs are designed to assist adult non-native English speaking students in communicating effectively in English. A number of resources and services are available to help these students improve and demonstrate their ability to speak, listen with understanding, read, and write English in order to function and be successful in the workplace and in postsecondary education and training. See the VCU Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center for ESOL Resources.
Adult High School Diploma Programs
- Adult Secondary Programs (ASE) – ASE programs include the Adult High School Diploma Program, National External Diploma Program (NEDP) and General Achievement Adult High School Diploma (GAAHSD).
High School Equivalency (HSE) Credential
- General Educational Development (GED) – Currently, the only Virginia board-approved HSE examination is the General Educational Development (GED) test, which was developed to enable persons who have not graduated from high school to demonstrate the attainment of abilities normally associated with completion of a high school program of study. GED Testing Service is a joint venture of the American Council on Education and Pearson VUE.
Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education (IELCE)
- Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education – IELCE programs are education services that enable adult English language learners, including professionals in their native countries, gain English proficiency, understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation, and obtain the workforce skills needed to gain employment that leads to self-sufficiency and be productive citizens. See the VCU Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center for ESOL Resources.
- Workforce Preparation Activities – Adult education is a key component in the workforce development continuum in the commonwealth. Services are delivered primarily as workforce preparation activities and integrated education and training.
How VDOE helps
VDOE supports adult education and literacy primarily by funding and supporting the programs at the local level. Each of the 22 regional programs, led by a program manager, provides adult education services to cities and counties in its region.
Public school systems, community colleges and community-based organizations are most often the providers of these services.
GED and GED Testing Service are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission. The GED and GED Testing Service brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license from the American Council on Education.