USOE Home » Adult Education » ABE and AHSC


The Utah Adult Education Program attempts to increase student understanding of the value of education in gaining knowledge and developing skills necessary for adult responsibilities and a successful future. Teachers can help adult students unlock the door for future success.

Belief Statement

That knowledge is the key to improving the quality of life. Education puts students in touch with the world around them, develops self-knowledge and promotes meaningful decision-making.

Adult education is a program specifically designed for adults who have different needs, backgrounds, and skills. Most workers in today’s workforce are expected to master not only the basic skills of reading, writing and math, but also possess strong skills in listening, speaking, critical thinking, problem solving, team building, and technology. Therefore, a flexible program is necessary as the demands of the workplace, the family and the society change.

Adult Basic Education (ABE) is for learners who need to improve basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills.

Adult High School Completion (AHSC) is instruction in academic credit classes that meet Utah high school core requirements and allow adult students to earn a Utah Adult Secondary Diploma after completing the state required amount of credits.

What's at Stake

Adult Basic Education (ABE) are services for adults who lack high school level skills.

ABE services include classroom instruction, one-to-one tutoring, computer-assisted instruction and distance learning.

ABE services are delivered by a diverse provider network composed of community-based organizations (CBOs), local education agencies (LEAs), community colleges, workplaces, labor unions, and correctional education.

The need for ABE services is great. ABE can be thought of in three sequential levels of preparation.

  • Adult Basic Level 1, provides instruction for the development of reading readiness, basic arithmetic skills, and an introduction to writing and basic grammar;
  • Adult Basic Level 2, provides instruction in the areas of reading comprehension, reading in the content areas, mathematics, and language arts; and
  • Adult Basic Level 3, provides instruction that will enable a student to develop the skills necessary to pass the GED examination. This level includes the areas of reading, science, social studies, grammar and writing skills, and mathematics.

The Best Indicator of a Child’s Future Success in School Is the Educational Level of the Parents

Mothers who are enrolled in ABE programs spend more time with their children talking about school, helping with homework, going to school activities and meeting with teachers, all of which are essential for a child’s success in school. (National Center for Family Literacy).

Civic and Community Participation Suffer When Adults Do Not Have Sufficient Literacy Skills

Adults with low literacy skills are half as likely as their more educated neighbors to vote. (National Adult Literacy Survey, 1993).

Adults Suffer Adverse Health Outcomes as a Result of Low Literacy Skills

Low literacy is associated with several adverse health outcomes, including low health knowledge, increased incidence of chronic illness, poorer intermediate disease markers, and less than optimal use of preventive health services. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Literacy and Health Outcomes, 2004).

Adult High School Completion

Students must meet state and local requirements to earn a diploma. Any credits earned in high school or at other adult education programs may be applied towards earning high school diploma credit.