What are Adult Basic Education (ABE) Services?

Adult Basic Education (ABE) includes courses designed to improve the employability of students through instruction in mathematics, reading, language, and workforce readiness skills to fictional grade levels that have been determined to increase the likelihood of success in employment.

Why is ABE so important to Special Education Students?

Research has shown that reaching a certain minimum adult-literacy level increases the likelihood of students achieving success in employment. Also, within the District of Columbia, many jobs, vocational programs, and unions have not only minimum adult-literacy requirements but also the prerequisite of a high school diploma/GED in order to participate. SoT understands that students might be limited in their ability to participate in certain job trainings, career fields, and jobs if they do not have a high school diploma or meet minimum adult-literacy requirements.

Students are placed in programs according to their CASAS pretest scores for reading and math. They move through the program to master, at a minimum, the Advanced Basic Skills. ABE services provided include:

  • Beginning Basic Skills for Reading and Math (GE 1st–3rd)
  • Intermediate Basic Skills for Reading and Math (GE 3rd–6th)
  • Advanced Basic Skills for Reading and Math (GE 6th–9th)
  • Adult Secondary for Reading and Math (GE 9th–12th)

        Beginning Basic Skills – Can fill out simple forms requiring basic personal information, write a simple list or telephone message, calculate a single simple numerical operation, and make simple change. Can read and interpret simple sentences on familiar topics. Can read and interpret simple directions, signs, maps, and menus. Can handle entry-level jobs that involve some simple written communication.

         Intermediate Basic Skills – Can handle basic reading, writing, and computational tasks related to life roles. Can read and interpret simplified and some authentic materials on familiar topics. Can interpret simple charts, graphs, and labels; interpret a basic payroll stub; and follow basic written instructions and diagrams. Can complete a simple order form and do calculations; fill out basic medical information forms and basic job applications; and follow basic oral and written instructions and diagrams. Can handle jobs and/or job training that involve following basic oral or written instructions and diagrams if they can be clarified orally.

        Advanced Basic Skills – Can handle most routine reading, writing, and computational tasks related to life roles. Can interpret routine charts, graphs, and labels; read and interpret a simple handbook for employees; interpret a payroll stub; complete an order form and do calculations; compute tips; reconcile a bank statement; and fill out medical information forms and job applications. Can follow multistep diagrams and written instructions; maintain a family budget; and write a simple accident or incident report. Can handle jobs and job training situations that involve following oral and simple written instructions and diagrams.

         Adult Secondary – Can read and follow multistep directions; read and interpret common legal forms and manuals; use math in business, such as calculating discounts; create and use tables and graphs; communicate personal opinion in written form; and write an accident or incident report. Can integrate information from multiple texts, charts, and graphs as well as evaluate and organize information. Can perform tasks that involve oral and written instructions in both familiar and unfamiliar situations.

Learn more about other SoT Academic Success Services

Employment Readiness Services Workplace Readiness Service Vocational Training