United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 18, 2024

§ 3272.
In this subchapter:
Adult education
The term “adult education” means academic instruction and education services below the postsecondary level that increase an individual’s ability to—
read, write, and speak in English and perform mathematics or other activities necessary for the attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
transition to postsecondary education and training; and
obtain employment.
Adult education and literacy activities

The term “adult education and literacy activities” means programs, activities, and services that include adult education, literacy, workplace adult education and literacy activities, family literacy activities, English language acquisition activities, integrated English literacy and civics education, workforce preparation activities, or integrated education and training.

Eligible agency

The term “eligible agency” means the sole entity or agency in a State or an outlying area responsible for administering or supervising policy for adult education and literacy activities in the State or outlying area, respectively, consistent with the law of the State or outlying area, respectively.

Eligible individual
The term “eligible individual” means an individual—
who has attained 16 years of age;
who is not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law; and
is basic skills deficient;
does not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and has not achieved an equivalent level of education; or
is an English language learner.
Eligible provider
The term “eligible provider” means an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities that may include—
a local educational agency;
a community-based organization or faith-based organization;
a volunteer literacy organization;
an institution of higher education;
a public or private nonprofit agency;
a library;
a public housing authority;
a nonprofit institution that is not described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (G) and has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals;
a consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (H); and
a partnership between an employer and an entity described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (I).
English language acquisition program
The term “English language acquisition program” means a program of instruction—
designed to help eligible individuals who are English language learners achieve competence in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension of the English language; and
that leads to—
attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent; and
transition to postsecondary education and training; or
English language learner
The term “English language learner” when used with respect to an eligible individual, means an eligible individual who has limited ability in reading, writing, speaking, or comprehending the English language, and—
whose native language is a language other than English; or
who lives in a family or community environment where a language other than English is the dominant language.
Essential components of reading instruction
The term “essential components of reading instruction” means explicit and systematic instruction in—
phonemic awareness;
vocabulary development;
reading fluency, including oral reading skills; and
reading comprehension strategies.
Family literacy activities
The term “family literacy activities” means activities that are of sufficient intensity and quality, to make sustainable improvements in the economic prospects for a family and that better enable parents or family members to support their children’s learning needs, and that integrate all of the following activities:
Parent or family adult education and literacy activities that lead to readiness for postsecondary education or training, career advancement, and economic self-sufficiency.
Interactive literacy activities between parents or family members and their children.
Training for parents or family members regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children.
An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences.
Institution of higher education

The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given the term in section 1001 of title 20.

Integrated education and training

The term “integrated education and training” means a service approach that provides adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement.

Integrated English literacy and civics education

The term “integrated English literacy and civics education” means education services provided to English language learners who are adults, including professionals with degrees and credentials in their native countries, that enables such adults to achieve competency in the English language and acquire the basic and more advanced skills needed to function effectively as parents, workers, and citizens in the United States. Such services shall include instruction in literacy and English language acquisition and instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation, and may include workforce training.


Postsecondary educational institution
The term “postsecondary educational institution” means—
an institution of higher education that provides not less than a 2-year program of instruction that is acceptable for credit toward a bachelor’s degree;
a tribally controlled college or university; or
a nonprofit educational institution offering certificate or apprenticeship programs at the postsecondary level.

The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Education.

Workplace adult education and literacy activities

The term “workplace adult education and literacy activities” means adult education and literacy activities offered by an eligible provider in collaboration with an employer or employee organization at a workplace or an off-site location that is designed to improve the productivity of the workforce.

Workforce preparation activities

The term “workforce preparation activities” means activities, programs, or services designed to help an individual acquire a combination of basic academic skills, critical thinking skills, digital literacy skills, and self-management skills, including competencies in utilizing resources, using information, working with others, understanding systems, and obtaining skills necessary for successful transition into and completion of postsecondary education or training, or employment.

(Pub. L. 113–128, title II, § 203, July 22, 2014, 128 Stat. 1609; Pub. L. 114–95, title IX, § 9215(c), Dec. 10, 2015, 129 Stat. 2166.)
cite as: 29 USC 3272