In 2014, the Oklahoma State Legislature voted to move the Adult Education-Lifelong Learning grant from the State Department of Education to the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. The Lifelong Learning Section of the Oklahoma State Department of Education had been providing basic skill instruction for educationally disadvantaged adults since the late 1960s. On July 1, 2014, CareerTech picked up the baton to provide these services across the state. Adult Education is funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In Oklahoma, 19 percent of the adults over the age of 25 have not finished high school. In human terms, this statistic means a workforce unprepared for the sophisticated demands of the workplace. It also may mean that future generations will not place a high value on finishing their education. As adult educators, our mission is to ensure that these Oklahomans have the opportunity to be fully participating workers, parents and citizens in our state. Adult education and literacy is an investment in our people.
- Adult Education moved from the State Department of Education to the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education on July 1, 2014.
The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Title II: Adult Education and Family Literacy Act provides supplemental funds for Adult Basic Education (ABE), high school subjects, English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship, and English Literacy and Civics Education (EL Civics), thereby enabling adults to become employable, productive, and responsible citizens, workers, and family members.
Adult education empowers individuals to become self-sufficient, and to obtain the necessary skills for future employment and success. Also, because a parent is a child’s first teacher, adult education helps parents obtain the necessary skills to become full partners in their children’s success. Finally, adult education assists adults in obtaining their secondary school diploma.
There is great need for adult education and literacy. Did you know…
- About 20 percent of America’s workers have low basic skills.
- Seventy-five percent of unemployed adults have reading or writing difficulties.
- Children’s literacy levels are strongly linked to the literacy levels of their parents.
- Having a parent (particularly a mother) who completed high school or the GED/HiSET equivalent is an important predictor of a child’s success in school. It is more important than parental income or marital status.
- Individuals with low literacy levels are at risk of not being able to understand materials distributed by health care providers.
- Fifty to 80 percent of all students in literacy and basic education programs, and 15 to 30 percent of all participants in job training programs, have a learning disability.
- Twenty-five to 40 percent of adults on welfare have learning disabilities.
- Prisoners in correctional institutions typically have lower literacy levels than the general population. Inmates who participate in educational programs while incarcerated return to prison less often than those who do not participate.
Information used with permission from the National Institute for Literacy.
Adult education programs of Oklahoma do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disabilities.
Adult Basic Education (ABE)
We have 31 ABE providers with 111 sites that provide the following services:
- High School Equivalency preparation classes
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Correctiona/Institutional Education
- English Literacy and Civics Education (EL/Civics)