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Tennessee Adult Education division delivers educational services to adults who are over the age of 17 (unless granted an exception) lacking a high school diploma and no longer under compulsory attendance to public high school. Through Adult Basic Education classes across the state, adults are assessed to determine their level of education and provided coursework to improve their skills in math, science, social studies, reading, writing and employability.  These classes are designed to equip the student with the knowledge necessary to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma and enter employment and/or postsecondary education.  Adult Education also offers English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Civics classes for those individuals who need to learn to speak, read, and write the English language.  In addition to the administration of the Adult Education program grant, Tennessee Division of Adult Education is also responsible for the oversight and compliance of testing-centers administering High School Equivalency exams.


Adult Education empowers individuals to become self-sufficient by providing the basic skills and knowledge necessary to complete a secondary education credential and works with individuals to help them meet their educational and career goals. We have classes in every county across the state to enhance future employment opportunities and personal growth.

Adult Education in Tennessee prepares students to be college and career ready, while earning a High School Equivalency Diploma. With a strong commitment to quality and efficient instruction that meets the needs of students, programs across the state help these students gain academic skills and credentials to transition to postsecondary education, be successful in the workplace, and contribute to their communities. English language learners have the opportunity to master oral language and reading/writing skills to better integrate into communities and workplaces and to pursue additional learning opportunities.

In Tennessee, nearly 700,000 people between the ages of 18 to 64 do not have a high school credential.   By 2022 the Tennessee Department of Labor estimates 32.4% of existing jobs and 38.9% of new jobs will require some post-secondary education.

Currently, a person with a high school credential earns about $10,000 annually more than a high school dropout. Individuals without a high school credential are more likely to be unemployed, three times as likely to live in poverty and eight times as likely to be incarcerated.

A focus on Adult Education saves money by reducing public assistance, health care and incarceration costs. Most importantly, adults are given the opportunity to improve their lives and better support their families.