What is Adult Education?

Adult education programs are designed to support adult learners in growing their foundational skills and obtaining the credentials they need to achieve their personal, professional, and community goals. In Massachusetts, thousands of people access adult education programs each year, studying to:

  • Learn English
  • Earn a high school equivalency credential (GED or HiSET) or diploma through an adult diploma program (ADP)
  • Build reading, writing, and math skills
  • Prepare for a new career
  • Get ready for college
  • Prepare to take the citizenship test
  • And more!
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Three young women sit at a table with laptops and glasses of water laughing.
Three yellow lines to signify a sun-burst.

Adult education programs are no-cost or low-cost, and are located in community-based organizations, local school districts, community colleges, libraries, correctional facilities, and volunteer associations. Many are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; others are funded through local or national grants and other fundraising efforts.

Many adult education programs provide traditional classes with set or flexible schedules, where students attend in-person, virtually, or a mix of the two. Other programs focus on connecting students with trained tutors who find time to meet on their own schedule. Adult education programs are staffed by professional teachers, administrators, advisors, and other staff, and many offer services like childcare or transportation to help meet the needs of adults with busy and complex lives.

To get started, find a program or call us to talk through your needs and interests.

Adult Education Pathways

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High School Equivaency Test

Get the support you deserve and earn a high school equivalency credential by enrolling in a High School Equivalency Program.

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English for Speakers of Other Languages

Build and improve your English so you can communicate effectively at work and in your community.

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Job and Career Training

Prepare for a new career in a high-demand field and earn the credentials you need along the way.

Rise to the Challenge

Public Adult Education of Massachusetts is a state-funded network of no-cost adult education programs.

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What’s the next step in your journey?