What is Adult Educaton (AE)?

Many people will make negative comments, implying that these are individuals who don't want to work or go to school. This view is one that we as educators face when advocating for funding for Adult Ed students. The students in an adult program are at a minimum 20 years of age and older.  Back in the 1970's, programming and funding was very similar to the traditional K-12 system. Since the 1990's, Adult Education has been cut dramatically, affecting access to programs across the state.

Why Adult Education?

Students drop out of high school for a variety of reasons: bullying, self-esteem, school trauma, history of academic failure, family dysfunction or lack of support. This at-risk population benefits from a different learning environment, smaller class sizes and flexible hours. These adaptations support the working adult or parent who is juggling work, family and the pursuit of a high school diploma.

How many need AE programs?

There are approximately one million adults in Michigan that read below a ninth grade reading level or do not have a high school diploma or equivalent.  Currently, there are 31,000 people who are enrolled in adult education programs. The lack of literacy skills becomes a barrier to obtain life sustaining employment. Education is the KEY to raising literacy levels. These students need an opportunity to become literate, so they can obtain more than a 90 day temporary job placement- they need a future.

A photograph of a female student with a quotation attributed to the student. The quotation says "I'm back in school because earning my high school diploma means as much to my family as it does to me."
A photograph of a female student with a quotation attributed to the student. The quotation says "The flexibility of the high school completion program has really worked for me."

Oakland County Adult & Alternative Education Programs



This advocacy event was held on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Lansing at the Speakers Library in the Capitol building. Students from all over the state, testified in front of legislators, governor's aids, various education associations,  and the media regarding the need for adult education programs.