Adult Education Facts at a Glance
- In 1992, the National Adult Literacy Survey found the following distribution of adults, age 16 and over, in the prose literacy scale: 25% of adults were in Level 1 (lowest level of proficiency); 25-28% in Level 2; 33% in Level 3; 18-21% in Levels 4 and 5 (highest levels of proficiency). (National Adult Literacy Survey, 1993)
- The Level 1 population included: 25% immigrants learning to speak English; 62% had terminated their education before completing high school; 25% percent age 65 or older; 26% with physical, mental, or health conditions that kept them from participating fully in work, school, housework, or other activities; 19% with visual difficulties affecting the ability to read print.
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Number of Programs/Activities
- Workforce development at two-year colleges is the fastest growing area of college services in many states. A survey of community college funding found: 19 states used state funds from their community college appropriation; 32 states used funds from other state agencies (these include state departments of labor, vocational education, economic development, commerce, and human resources); and 31 states used non-state funds. (State Funding for Community Colleges: A 50-State Survey PDF (511K), 2000, Table 19)
- ESL programs are the fastest growing component of the state-administered adult education programs. In 1997-98, 48% of enrollments were in ESL programs, compared to 33% in 1993-94. Of these 48% enrollees, 32% were in beginning ESL classes, 12% in intermediate, and 4% in advanced. (Adult Education: Human Investment Impact 1994-98, 1999; State-Administered Adult Education Program: 1998 Adult Education Personnel, 1999)
- Enrollment and participant information includes information on the number and characteristics of adults enrolled in the state-administered adult education program (program years 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03).
- In 1999, 44.5% of adults 17 years old and older participated in some type of adult education program. 1.1% participated in a basic education program; .9% in English as a Second Language programs, 9.3% in part-time postsecondary education; and 22.2% in career or job related courses. (Digest of Education Statistics, 2001, Table 359)
- In 1999, 14.7% of adults 17 years old and older with 8th grade or less education participated in some type of adult education program. Participants with some education between 9th and 12th grades (without a diploma) 25.6%; and 34.8% of those with a diploma participated in an adult education program. (Digest of Education Statistics, 2001, Table 359)
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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