Adult Basic Education
The Adult Basic Education (ABE) Division offers adults the opportunity to begin and/or complete a basic education through the twelfth grade. ABE also provides a variety of educational programs and student support services that can help individuals achieve their goals and transition to college. A complete education improves one’s opportunities for obtaining or retaining employment and going to college and can provide a person with a sense of accomplishment.
ABE instructional programs and classes include basic literacy, English as a second language (at various levels), EL/Civics, GED®, (high school equivalency diploma), college preparation, U.S. citizenship, computer literacy, and work readiness. Practical living skills, employment and training, and student success principles are also emphasized throughout the ABE curriculum. Student support services include basic skills assessments, student orientations, self-paced studies, advising and referral services, student success skills, tutoring on an individual and small-group basis, and assistance with college transition.
ABE does not charge for classes, services, or textbooks.
Free, Noncredit Instructional Programs
GED®-High School Equivalency. Those 16 years of age or older who do not have a high school diploma may attend GED® classes or study at any of our adult learning centers in preparation to successfully pass the mathematics, reading/writing, social studies, and science high school equivalency tests. ABE offers GED® instruction in either English or Spanish. Students who attend Spanish GED® classes are required to concurrently enroll in and attend ESL classes. For additional study, students may receive tutoring at any of our adult education learning centers. Sixteen year-old students are accepted into the GED® program with an official withdrawal notice from the public schools.
Upon completion, GED® graduates join the hundreds of adults in southern New Mexico who receive a high school diploma each year through ABE. Every May, ABE invites GED® graduates to participate in the DACC commencement ceremony and can assist graduates transitioning to college.
ESL-English as a Second Language.
This program helps improve English language skills for non-native speakers. Students will be pre-tested and placed at the appropriate level. Students acquire academic English skills (reading, writing, and grammar), build their vocabulary, and increase conversation, listening comprehension and life skills. Small group instruction is available at each learning center to support learning. Advanced ESL students who are ready to exit the program and interested in transitioning to college are assisted with this process to help them experience success.
U.S. Citizenship Preparation.
Those eligible to become U.S. citizens can receive assistance in preparing to take the citizenship test. Knowledgeable instructors teach U.S. history, government, citizens’ rights, duties and responsibilities, requirements for U.S. citizenship, civic participation, basic reading, writing, and conversational English. Instructors also provide practice with testing and the interview process. At the learning centers, ABE provides citizenship workbooks, sample questions, and information about U.S. citizenship, as well as occasional citizenship application workshops. Classes also are taught in Spanish for those who qualify to interview in Spanish. Students in the citizenship classes who meet specific criteria may apply for a scholarship to help with the cost of filing for U.S. Citizenship. Scholarships are awarded each January and July.
Computer Literacy classes.
Students must be enrolled in at least one other ABE class, such as GED® or ESL (levels 4-6) to be eligible to enroll in computer literacy classes. These classes include basic keyboarding, how to create, save, edit, and retrieve documents, and much more. Students will gain confidence working with a computer in preparation for college or employment.
Reading Improvement Program for Adults
It is estimated that 30 percent of the adult residents of Doña Ana County have less than a twelfth-grade education. Literacy Volunteers of Doña Ana County, in alliance with ABE and the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, is a program that provides adults an opportunity to learn basic reading, writing, and numeracy through the sixth-grade level. Trained volunteers are matched with students most in need of one-to-one or small-group tutoring. The program also offers opportunities for free tutoring and/or tutor training at other locations.
Those interested in volunteering to teach, or in referring someone for help with reading, are encouraged to call 527-7544 or to log on to readwritenow.org. Literacy volunteer tutors generally are available at all learning center locations.