Adult Education

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News & Announcements

Adult Education Awards $810,000 in Innovation Challenge Awards to Expand Service

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education is pleased to announce Innovation Challenge Awards for program year 2022-2023. The awardees represent many excellent examples of regional programs across the Commonwealth seizing partnership opportunities to expand educational and training services for adults in their communities. Highlights include awards to:

  • Serve the re-entry population through a coalition of service providers in the Shenandoah Valley and in Scott county;
  • Prepare incarcerated individuals for successful release by expanding service in correctional facilities in Richmond, Henry, and Patrick counties;
  • Expand service to underserved communities through partnerships such as those with public libraries in Damascus, Petersburg, Pulaski, and Shawsville; and
  • Offer integrated education and training (IET) opportunities for industry-recognized credentials on the Eastern Shore, in the Peninsula, Shenandoah Valley, and Piedmont regions and in the cities of Petersburg, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville.

These funds are made available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) (award number V002A210047).

See Adult Education Fact Sheets designed to communicate with various audience groups.


Education and literacy are keys to a better quality of life. According to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, over 700,000 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, 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 the region. Adult English literacy and civics education programs are funded in local areas with large populations of English language learners.

Learn more about the role of adult education in the workforce development system in Virginia through a series of new fact sheets, designed to communicate with various audiences. These fact sheets are the product of the Adult Education and Literacy Advisory Committee to the Board of Education. 

See also fact sheets for the national adult education program produced by the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education, of which Virginia is a member. At the link to the national fact sheet, see the menu bar at the top in which you can select Virginia.

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 Completion Options - Adult Secondary Completion Options 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

  • GED - Currently, the only Virginia board-approved HSE examination is the 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 Development

  • 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.


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.