Modern society requires adults to have strong basic skills, such as the ability to communicate in English, read and write, work with numbers, and solve complex problems. However, millions of U.S. adults—even some who have earned a high school diploma or equivalent—are below proficiency and struggle to be college- or career-ready or to advance. Adult education programs, community colleges, and other providers offer services to help build adult basic skills. IES has multiple initiatives to understand and improve the basic skills of U.S. adults and the systems and programs that aim to develop these skills.
The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education oversees the National Reporting System (NRS), which gathers data from adult education programs. The public can access files and reports through this site by clicking on the "public user" option on the website.