Adult Literacy Educational Programs

Adult literacy programs assist adults:

  • to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency
  • who are parents/guardians to obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children
  • to obtain a secondary school credential

Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Instruction in reading, mathematics, oral and written communication, and computer skills for students reading below the ninth-grade level or within the National Reporting System's Level 1 - 4. Reading instruction focuses on reading skills highlighted in "Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults".  Academic performance is measured using the TABE.

Adult Secondary Education (ASE)

Instruction for students reading at/above the ninth-grade level or within the National Reporting System's Level 5 and 6. Academic performance is measured by the number of Tests of HSE - High School Equivalency GED®/TASC™ attained. 

English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Instruction in listening, reading, oral and written communication, computer skills, and life skills for individuals with limited English proficiency.

Family Literacy

Must provide instructional services that are of sufficient intensity in terms of hours and of sufficient duration to make sustainable changes in a family. Family literacy integrates the following four components:

  • Adult literacy training for parents that leads to economic self-sufficiency;
  • Interactive literacy activities between parents/guardians and their children;
  • Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children; and
  • Age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences

Adult program participants must meet the eligibility requirements for adult literacy program funding and must be the parent/guardian of child(ren) birth to under age of 16 years. Both parent/guardian and child(ren) must fully participate in the family literacy program. Family Literacy Programs have a strong adult literacy component coordinated with the other required components.

English Language/Civics Education (EL/Civics)

Civics education is defined by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) as an educational program that emphasized contextualized instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization procedures, civic participation, and U.S. history and government. Academic performance is measured by the BEST Plus and the U.S. Citizenship Test as well as the demonstration to navigate governmental, educational and workplace systems.


Apprenticeship is the process of learning a skilled trade through training on the job (practical experience) plus acquiring the related technical knowledge, usually in a classroom. Training is given under the guidance of experienced instructors.

External Sources:

US Department of Education-Office of Career,Technical and Adult Education

LINCS - Literacy Information and Communication System

The National Association of State Directors of Adult Education