Adult Education

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Education and literacy are keys to a better quality of life. According to the 2016-2020 American Community Survey, over 640,000 adults do not have a high school diploma or high school credential, and many more lack literacy in key areas such as math, English proficiency, or employability skills.

Learn how the VDOE is supporting adult learners on career pathways toward further education, training, and employment. Programs are offered across the Commonwealth; find a program in your region. Download and share the fact sheets and infographics designed to communicate with various audiences. 

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

See the funded providers in the 2023-2025 grant cycle in Director’s Memo 61-23. These awards are made available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) (award number V002A230047), and the state funds provided for adult education.

  • 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 (ASE).
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) - ESL programs are designed to assist adult speakers of other languages to communicate effectively in English. See the VCU Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center for ESOL Resources for instructional resources. 
  • Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education (IELCE) - IELCE programs are education services that enable adult speakers of other languages, including internationally trained professionals, 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.
  • Corrections Education – Corrections education is offered in local and regional jails, prisons, and halfway houses to prepare adults for successful re-entry to the community. 

Adult Secondary Completion 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 - 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.


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.