Adult Education & English Language Learning

Adult students studying and learning English in a classroom

Adult Education programs support adult students who are building academic skills, working to earn a high school credential, working to improve their employment situation, and/or who are learning English.

A major support for WTCS Adult Education programming is federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funding, which prepares adult learners to:

  • Successfully enter and succeed in postsecondary certificate, technical degree or diploma programs, apprenticeship training, associates degree, transfer and/or other postsecondary education
  • Attain and retain meaningful and sustainable employment
  • Effectively support literacy development and academic success within the family
  • Become informed and productive participants in community and civic life
  • Become self-directed and lifelong learners

Adult Education includes several categories of adult learning, including:

  • Adult Basic Education which spans grades K – 8.9 instruction with grade levels equivalent to academic courses offered by an accredited school district in the state and that build toward the equivalent of high school enrollment.
  • Adult Secondary Education which includes 9.0 – 12.9 instruction with grade levels equivalent to academic courses and acceptable for credit toward high school completion approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). ASE includes courses that are designed to prepare learners in pursuit of a GED or high school equivalency diploma (HSED) as well as prepares students for transition and success in postsecondary education.  Use Aid Code 76 for Adult Secondary Education, Aid Code 77 for Developmental Education, and Aid Code 78 for Remedial Education.
  • English Language Learning (ELL) refers to instructional programs designed to assist eligible adults who are English language learners achieve competence in reading , writing, speaking, and comprehension of the English language learners, and leads to attainment of a secondary school diploma or its equivalency, as well as transition to postsecondary education and training or employment.  English language learning prepares students for success  as community members, parents, and employees. 
  • Justice-Involved Education can include components of Adult Education, ELL and/or occupational skills education and training, and is often delivered in partnership between colleges, state and local correctional institutions, and other community partners. The goal of this programming is to reduce recidivism and increase employment for justice-involved individuals.

WI State Director of AEFLA Ben Konruff,

AEFLA Grant information can be found on the AEFLA Grant Page.

New NRS Assessments

New NRS Assessment FAQs Updated 06.19.24 updated regularly . Please send questions about the new NRS assessments to  New questions will be posted weekly.

Ability to Benefit

Ability to Benefit (ATB) is a financial aid provision which offers adult education students the opportunity to enter a WTCS career pathway program, earn a high school credential or its equivalent, and obtain funding for applicable tuition/fees under Title IV federal aid. Ability to Benefit is accessible for students of all backgrounds, abilities, and socioeconomic levels, and is especially beneficial for low income and first-generation college students.
ATB has three eligibility options:

  1. Passing an Ability to Benefit acceptable academic assessment or entrance exam
  2. Completing 6 college credits (or equivalent) without financial aid
  3. Participating in the WTCS Ability to Benefit State Process.
    • All institutions participating in the WTCS Ability to Benefit State Process must sign an MOU of participation and agree to provide all required services. Furthermore, the participating college(s) agree to provide ATB identified pathways and all required client reporting data. Please view the WTCS Ability to Benefit State Process FAQ for additional information.
  • For more information contact Christina Lorge, Associate Vice President of Student Success

Ability to Benefit Professional Development

Additional Resources


DPI GED/HSED Information
Web LinkUploaded 04/21/2020
GED Testing Service Resource Site
Web LinkUploaded 04/21/2020
National Reporting System (NRS)
Web LinkUploaded 04/21/2020
TABE 11/12 Introductory Information
Web LinkUploaded 04/21/2020
Web LinkUploaded 04/21/2020
WTCS AE Curriculum Resources
Web LinkUploaded 04/21/2020