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Today, 432,000 Hoosiers ages 18-64 still need to achieve their high school diploma. Currently, 111,000 of those high school dropouts are young adults not attending high school and unemployed.  In Indiana, we have 350,000 immigrants, of which 38% are in Indianapolis, with a 3,500 waiting list for classes.  These Hoosiers lack basic skills and need to advance to contribute to society.  Our adult learners, on average, grow their wages by $10,000.  Currently, 75% of all inmates in the Department of Corrections have low literacy levels.  A high school dropout can cost taxpayers up to $500,000.  A typical adult education program delivers classes for $1,100 per student.  By investing in adult education, the State of Indiana demonstrates the importance of continued education and lifelong learning while saving taxpayer dollars.  The data above has been gathered from the American Community Survey (ACS).

The Adult Education Solution…

  • Equip 5,612 English Language Learners with reading, listening, and speaking skills for everyday English, opening up new careers and educational opportunities.  
  • Advance students through fast-track High School Equivalency classes, building foundational college and career readiness skills, with 50,000 graduates earning a diploma within the last ten years.
  • Equip students with knowledge and skills through Integrated Education and Training (IET) classes that helped 1,472 Hoosiers earn certifications providing a pathway into a high-wage career.  
  • One hundred and fifty Hoosier employers are benefiting from Workforce Education Initiative (WEI) classes that are building core competencies to meet their workforce requirements and advancing 2,000 new and incumbent workers.  
  • Develop a unified service delivery strategy and equivalency across all adult high schools to improve program access and outcomes for adults.  

The Department of Workforce Development and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet have both proposed an increase in funding for adult basic education programs, which would allow for the expansion of Workforce Education Initiatives with employer partners, Integrated Education and Training courses for job seekers, English language learning classes for immigrants, and high school completion options for adults.
○ SUPPORT – An immediate and substantial increase in the biannual budget for adult basic education programs.
○ SUPPORT- Support for the expansion of the HSE pilot program
○ SUPPORT – Indiana competency-based high school diploma or equivalency.

Statewide Messaging; Local Actions

In 2023, Adult Education Providers are prepared to step up and help solve the State of Indiana’s critical pipeline issues.  To generate statewide momentum, it is crucial that local programs take local action to build a strong understanding of our programs offered, facilitate close business relationships, and build a unified statewide movement.  

Below are exceptional ways to advocate:

#1 – Create a local infographic that provides key facts and information about your program.

#2 – Develop Student Ambassadors who get the word out and inspire others to enroll.

#3 – Attend all critical legislative meetings, meet the candidate, and city dinners.

#4 – Present to the local chamber of commerce and economic development boards.

#5 – Engage elected officials as graduation speakers each year.  

#6 – Ask your elected officials to host Adult Education Family Literacy Week activities.

#7 – Secure letters of endorsement from local employers and email them to director@iaace.com

#8 – Hold 1-1 meetings with elected officials to discuss the IAACE Talking Points & graphics

#9 – Write letters to the editors to showcase student success and share them with IAACE.

#10 – Invite your elected officials to meet at the AE Day at the Statehouse on 2/15 at 11:30 am ET!

#11 – Honor your local employer partners by submitting a nomination for a statewide award.

Indiana Association for Adult and Continuing Education (IAACE)

Jennifer Wigginton, Executive Director

Phone:  317-721-9365

Email: director@iaace.com

Adult Education is Where Life Takes Flight


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