Postbaccalaureate Certificate in
Adult Basic Education

Program Summary

Earn a certificate in educating and supporting adults and out-of-school youths who struggle with literacy and number-related concepts. Learn to provide high-quality, research-based instruction in adult basic education (ABE) through this three-course program.
How To Apply
Apply by May 1 to start May 15

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

12 Credits $1,007 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

Online Adult Basic Education (ABE) Postbaccalaureate Certificate

If you currently work, or if you wish to work, with adults or out-of-school youth who struggle with reading, writing, numeracy, and/or English language proficiency, this online postbaccalaureate certificate program could be ideal for you. It is designed to enhance your ability to provide high-quality, research-based instruction in adult basic education (ABE), especially literacy and numeracy. 

The 12-credit certificate includes three required courses and one elective, which allows you to tailor the program to your specific interest, such as ESL, program planning and administration, distance education, educational technology, or adult learning.

The Penn State Difference

This online program is offered in partnership with the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy in the College of Education at Penn State; you can learn from faculty with academic and professional expertise in adult basic education — the same renowned faculty who teach on campus — ensuring that you will receive a high-quality education. All courses offered for this certificate have been developed using Penn State Quality Assurance standards established by the University.

Adult Basic Education Curriculum: Adult Literacy and Numeracy

The focus of the ABE curriculum is to deepen your knowledge so you can more effectively teach adult literacy and numeracy and expand and strengthen adults' proficiency in literacy and numeracy, to enhance your ability to apply these strategies in your professional practice, and to advance the overall quality of instruction for students enrolled in adult basic education.

Act 48–Approved

Penn State is an Act 48–approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so the courses for the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Adult Basic Education may count toward professional development hours.

Scholarship Available

The Hart Van Horn Adult Education Scholarship is available to individuals in the field of adult basic education and literacy. Recipients will receive $1,200 off tuition that can be used within the academic year. The student must be enrolled in one or more of the Goodling Institute’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) or the Family Literacy (FL) Certificate courses. However, preference will be given to an individual enrolled in the ABE Certificate program. 

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions. 

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