Retention is equally as important as recruitment. One of the greatest challenges facing adult education programs is retaining students. Current statistics show that most students entering adult education classrooms leave within the first three weeks of study. Unlike children, adults are not a captive audience and need direct, concrete experiences in which they can apply their learning experiences to their lives.

The following policies and practices will encourage students to remain in the program long enough to reach their educational goals.

  • Incorporate student contracts into the orientation and registration process
  • Provide consistent and dynamic instruction in which students’ needs lead the development of the curriculum
  • Schedule presentations and site visits that reinforce curriculum and recognize students’ achievements
  • Contact students who are absent to find out why they have missed classes. This lets students know that their attendance is important.
  • Send postcards, letters or birthday cards to students to remind them about program services
  • Recognize and award students with certificates for best attendance, etc.


  • Research/access options for providing financial assistance (in the form of vouchers) to students who are prepared to take official GED exams Examples: Hays County Library Action, The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
  • Refer student to services, including other Community Action, Inc. programs as needed
  • Inform students of services and programs that can assist them