Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)
To provide each and every adult with opportunities to develop literacy skills needed to qualify for further education, job training, and better employment, and to reach his/her full potential as a family member, productive worker, and citizen. — Adopted in 1993
Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline
Are you a Massachusetts resident who wants to get a high school equivalency credential or learn English? The Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline provides referrals to hundreds of adult education programs that offer English language training, high school equivalency test preparation, and other services.
Call (800) 447 – 8844
Adult Education System Evaluation Final Report 2020 (December 2020)
ACLS commissioned the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) to determine if recent adult education system changes have contributed to improvements in the quality of and access to educator PD, quality of adult education provided, and student outcomes. We invite you to review UMDI’s Adult Education System Evaluation Final Report reflecting the perspectives of students, directors, teachers, advisors, ACLS staff, and other stakeholders along with findings and recommendations for the future. The report is posted on the Workforce Development and Adult Learners link of the DESE Reports by Topic page.
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What Is "ACLS"?
Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS), a unit at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, oversees and improves no-cost basic educational services (ABE) for adults in Massachusetts.
What Is "ABE"?
ABE stands for Adult Basic Education. ABE is an umbrella term used to describe a range of educational services for adults from basic literacy (including English for non-native speakers of English), numeracy, and high school equivalency / adult diploma programs (ADP).
How Does ACLS Help Adults?
ACLS funds programs in Massachusetts to provide educational services to adults with academic skill levels below 12th grade, and/or adults who need English language skills to succeed in our communities. Through both federal and state grants, we fund a broad network of education providers/programs, including local school systems, community-based agencies, community colleges, libraries, volunteer organizations, correctional facilities, and others. ACLS also funds family literacy and workplace education programs.
How Does ACLS Work To Improve the Adult Basic Education Service Delivery System?
In addition to ABE classes, ACLS funds innovative projects to enhance programs' delivery of services, including curriculum frameworks, health education, English Language Civics, community planning, distance learning, family literacy, workplace education, and technology.
ACLS also funds the professional development of teachers and other professionals in ABE programs through the System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES).
Last Updated: January 17, 2021