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ACCEL: Supporting Adult-Education Students at Cañada College

Defining Adult Education Students

According to the California Department of Education, adult education serves a diverse population of students, including those who can be categorized as the following:

Adult Immigrants—Adults who need language instruction and learning experiences that will permit them to communicate with English speakers; learn about the cultures and customs of the United States; and prepare for employment, citizenship, parenthood, and self-sufficiency. 

Adults with Disabilities—Individuals with cognitive, physical, sensory, or medical disabilities or mental disorders. Adult education provides modified equipment, materials, and instructional strategies to increase literacy for both individuals and families as well as workplace skills. 

Disadvantaged Adults—Low-income and hard-to-serve adults who demonstrate basic skills deficiency below the eighth-grade level. Adult education provides basic skills training, preparation for the General Educational Development (GED) test, preparation toward earning a high school diploma, and job skills training opportunities. 

Homeless Adults—People who live in extreme poverty and often cannot afford to travel to adult education programs. Adult literacy services provide life skills instruction, connections with community resources, self-esteem support, and preparation for employment. 

Incarcerated Adults—Individuals who are convicted of any criminal offense. Incarcerated adults are a significant portion of the hard-to-serve or “dropout” segment of the educational system. Correctional education programs provide educational and job-training services in technology, English as a second language, high school credit, and basic education programs to prepare inmates to be responsible citizens and successfully integrate into society. 

Single Parents and Displaced Homemakers—Unemployed or underemployed individuals who provide unpaid services to family members. Adult education and agencies ensure that students receive needed services, such as child care, career counseling, vocational evaluation, and educational counseling. Use of distance-learning programs is a priority in working with these students.