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Adult Education and Literacy

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Welcome to the Iowa Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEL) page. Follow the links below for more information about adult basic education services for Iowa adults and their families as well as resources and requirements for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA)-funded program management.

2021 Iowa Adult Education and Literacy Summer Virtual Conference

This year's conference, titled, Refresh ◆Renew ◆ Refocus, offers a unique opportunity for Iowa to showcase and host over 40 sessions with speakers from across the nation and networking activities for attendees. The three day virtual conference will be an important opportunity to learn about innovative practices in adult education.

Learn more and register

Your Future Starts Here

The Iowa Department of Education no longer processes duplicate diploma or transcript requests. All Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) requests are processed through Diploma Sender. No state agency or community college program can assist in HSED requests. Official copies of the diplomas and transcripts must be obtained from Diploma Sender. Learn more on the HSED webpage.

Your Future Starts Here Newsletter

The Your Future Starts Here Newsletter provides updated information for adult language learners. Newsletters are sent out quarterly.

Receive the Your Future Starts Here newsletter by entering your email address below.

All adult education and literacy classes, including testing for the HSED (formerly known as the GED®), is done at local community colleges. To learn more about programs offered and class schedules, please click on the appropriate college link below.

Directory of AEL Programs by Area

Adult Literacy Map Des Moines Area Community College
Eastern Iowa Community College
Hawkeye Community College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa Valley Community College
Iowa Western Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Northeast Iowa Community College
North Iowa Area Community College
Northwest Iowa Community College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
Western Iowa Tech College

About Adult Education and Literacy

The Iowa Department of Education (DE) recognizes that today's workplace presents numerous opportunities and challenges for adults. Employers need workers with strong basic skills and an ability to adapt to change. Today's families are faced with multiple responsibilities as they address their children's educational needs as well as their own. Iowa’s Adult Education and Literacy programs build skills for success by providing adults with the opportunity to acquire and improve functional skills necessary to enhance the quality of their lives as workers, family members, and citizens. These programs play an important role in fostering productive employment, effective citizenship, personal and family growth, self-esteem, and dignity for adult learners. Educational services are available at little or no cost to adult learners and are designed to meet the educational needs of each individual.

Adult Education and Literacy is designed to:

  • Satisfy the basic literacy needs of adults
  • Improve and/or upgrade information processing and computational skills leading to a high school equivalency diploma or entry into postsecondary education
  • Satisfy the continuing education demands of adults in the current labor market
  • Improve the self-esteem of adults
  • Empower adults to achieve their goals

Our Mission

To provide accessible, quality instruction that develops life, work, and literacy skills.

According to the most recent federal legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the qualifications for students are as follows:

  • Adults who are 16 years of age or older
  • Adults who are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law; and who:
    • lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills to enable them to function effectively on the job, in the family, and in society, or
    • do not have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent level of education, or
    • are unable to speak, read, or write the English language.
  • Only adults who meet the eligibility criteria above may enroll in the Iowa AEL program

Services could include:

  • Basic Skills Instruction in reading, writing, math, listening, and speaking
  • HSED Test Preparation in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts-reading, language arts-writing, and calculator training
  • Official Practice Test (OPT) Administration for documenting readiness to take the HiSET™ test
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages in pre-literacy, reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, U.S. history and government, and cultural literacy
  • College Readiness Skills Instruction in organization and time management, technology, goal setting, test taking skills, and self-advocacy
  • Job Readiness Skills Instruction in goal-setting, career planning, personal work attributes, employee rights and responsibilities, job search strategies, and unemployment survival
  • Computer Literacy Skills in keyboarding, word processing, and other introductory skills

Adult Education and Literacy Staff Directory

Alex Harris
State Director for Adult Education
Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation
Bureau of Community Colleges
Phone: 515-281-3640
Fax: 515-242-5988

Teresa Garcìa
AEL Program Quality
Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation
Bureau of Community Colleges
Phone: 515-281-4723
Fax: 515-242-5988

Lisa Gard
Data Accountability Consultant
Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation
Bureau of Community Colleges
Phone: 515-418-3156
Fax: 515-242-5988

Elizabeth Johnson
Education Consultant, Instructional Design/Development
Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation
Phone: 515-281-3753
Fax: 515-242-5988

Mike Williams
Career Pathway and HSED Consultant
Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation
Bureau of Community Colleges
Phone: 515-725-2005
Fax: 515-242-5988

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 23, 2021 at 7:58pm.