Vermont Voices: Vermont Adult Learning

“We meet students where they are to help them realize their educational goals. We are nimble, adjusting to a shifting economy with enhanced focus on job readiness and career pathways.” -Vermont Adult Learning 

Vermont Adult Learning (VAL) provides services such as basic literacy and math instruction, high school diploma and GED completion, and English Language Learning (ELL) classes, all for FREE. It’s about workforce training. It’s about moving on to college or an apprenticeship program. It’s about a better job and career. It’s about thriving. 

VAL’s mission is to create an innovative, inclusive, and equitable learning environment that provides personalized opportunities for education and career development for Vermont residents by building relationships, strengthening communities, and fostering life-long learning. 

A recent report by the University of Vermont stated: “[Vermont’s] educational systems are not sufficiently designed for preparing Vermont’s young people to find meaningful and well-paying career pathways.” Vermont needs to align its secondary and technical education centers around current workforce development needs and opportunities and ensure that they are available statewide. This is something that VAL aims to do with their programs. They meet students where they are at and help them accomplish their goals with as much support as needed. 

On the Vermont Adult Learning website, there are many testimonials and stories of students who have made incredible progress throughout their time with VAL, this is one of the many powerful success stories:

“My guidance counselor asked if I’d be interested in Vermont Adult Learning… I’d never had a math teacher who really took the time to understand how I learned math. Gretchen, my VAL teacher, would find different ways to explain things if I didn’t understand. She’d make up practice tests. She was great. I’m really proud of my math. Math was the one thing that took me until two days before graduation to complete! Working with Gretchen made a huge difference. I was never afraid to ask a question.” - VAL Graduate 

Adult Education students are required to earn the same number of credits as Vermont students attending traditional high school. Students face an additional hurdle—they must achieve a designated, minimum score on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), a rigorous standardized test. Imagine if every high schooler in Vermont had to earn a certain score on the SAT or ACT as part of their graduation requirements? 

VAL works for the day when all Vermonters are prosperous and have the life skills and knowledge to achieve success in their careers, family and community. VAL is not only providing essential academic support to their students but is also simultaneously building Vermont’s smart and capable workforce, one student at a time. 

Learn more about VAL 
Learn more about UWAC’s Workforce Priorities 
Vermont Workforce Resources from MyFutureVT