Adult Education and GED

Adult Education, GED, and Workforce Training programs support Rhode Island adults in gaining skills and credentials for employment, citizenship, and family and community leadership.

Programs in Adult Education, GED, Workforce Training and English for Speakers of Other Languages are offered during the day and evening.  Program offerings also include contextualized classes that prepare adults for jobs and career pathways.  Instruction is provided face to face and online.

A Successful Multi-Agency Collaboration

The Rhode Island Department of Education funds qualified not-for-profit agencies to implement Adult Education and Workforce Training programs that support the achievement of two statewide outcomes.

RI Adult Education Initiative Chart
  • All Rhode Island adults have the skills and credentials they need for upward mobility (college and career), for engaged citizenship, and for leading strong families and communities.
  • All Rhode Island employers have access to a pool of workers with the skills they need to remain competitive and grow.

Collaboration between RIDE, the Governor’s Office and the Governor’s Workforce Board has led to the establishment of key investment priorities in the following outcome areas:

Strong Families and Communities

  • Expansion of Family Literacy
  • Provision of Comprehensive Community-based classroom Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and English as a Second Language (English for Speakers of Other Languages).
  • Expansion of Distance Learning

Upward Mobility through College and Career Readiness

  • Expansion of adult education that is contextualized and supports career pathways for youth and adults  in Rhode Island’s nine critical and emerging industries.
  • Integration of adult education and hands-on technical training leading to academic and industry credentials for low-skilled current and former welfare recipients and other unemployed low-skilled adults
  • Integration of pre- and post-release adult education services for the incarcerated.
  • Expansion of transition to postsecondary education and training/apprenticeship programs that use dual or concurrent enrollment including rigorous Adult Secondary Education for those preparing for postsecondary education based on internationally benchmarked college and career readiness standards.

Civic Engagement and Student Leadership

  • Continuation of English Literacy / Civics Education & Student Engagement
  • Expansion of Student Leadership - Helping Adult Learners Reach Their Goals

  • Adult Education's page on EnrollRI allows adult learners to explore the adult education, career preparation, citizenship, ESOL, high school equivalency/GED, or workforce training programs available to them for low or no cost.
  • Find programs and provider contact information at:

Adult Education Resources

GED grad

General Educational Development Test - GED®

The Rhode Island High School Equivalency Program is composed of the General Educational Development (GED) Tests, which are administered throughout the state by testing centers authorized by the Board of Education. The Rhode Island High School Equivalency Diploma is issued to those eligible individuals who successfully complete the GED Tests.


You must go through an authorized Rhode Island testing center to take all in-person or online GED tests in order to receive your High School Equivalency Diploma. Websites that offer credentials and diplomas without going through a testing center are fake and will not be recognized by colleges or employers. To learn more about GED Test Fraud, please visit the link above.

National External Diploma Program - NEDP

Some Rhode Island school districts offer a high school diploma based upon successful completion of the National External Diploma Program (NEDP). The NEDP is a performance assessment system that is competency-based, and expects adults to demonstrate their ability in a series of simulations that parallel job and life situations. Participants are evaluated against a criterion of excellence instead of by comparison to others.

Several RI Adult Education Programs offer the NEDP.  For more information visit:

In July of 2011, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed revised compulsory attendance legislation, which requires students to attend school until they are 18 years old. The RI Compulsory Attendance Statute (RIGL 16-19-1) and the adoption of the Alternative Learning Plan (ALP) is an effort to prevent students from dropping out of school and, subsequently, being placed into truancy court.  The statute encourages schools and families to work together so that students remain enrolled in school, via an ALP, so that students may continue to work toward earning a high school diploma or its equivalent. 

The Compulsory Attendance Statute mandates that students be in continuous school enrollment until the age of 18.  The statute allows for a superintendent or head of school to waive the attendance requirements for those students 16 years of age or older who have an approved ALP that supports their continued progress toward obtaining a RI Diploma or its equivalent.  All districts are required to implement this legislation as necessary and, in the process, ensure that students continue to have opportunities to further their education and career readiness skills. The guidance documents below provide technical assistance regarding the ALP process for students seeking a high school equivalency as an alternative to a traditional high school diploma.

For more information, please see the Diploma System & Graduation Requirements page.

Adult education programs in Rhode Island design and implement programming to achieve the following outcomes for adult learners:

Adult Education Program
Map of Rhode Island Adult Education System

The office of Adult Education at RIDE developed several policies and guidance documents to support the administration of quality programs. These are in alignment with the 12 Considerations referenced in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II (Sec. 231), which are also the source of the RI Adult Education Indicators of Program Quality.

The office of Adult Education at RIDE collaborated with practitioners on the development of several sets of standards that support quality programming. These standards target both staff and student populations as well as critical program systems and components. The standards are also used as the basis for professional development and program monitoring activity.