Vision and Mission
Vermont Adult Learning 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. Further, we envision Vermont Adult Learning as a leader in education and training for those 16 years and older, and as a key resource in helping Vermonters to be successful in achieving their goals.
Vermont Adult Learning’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 lifelong learning.
In a state where 36,000 residents lack high school diplomas, VAL helps adult learners, age 16 and older, acquire the reading, writing, math and computer skills necessary to earn their high school diploma or GED. We teach English Language Learners (ELL) language skills needed to advance educationally and in the workplace; we help them prepare for citizenship. Our students experience barriers in their public schools, health issues or displacement from their homelands due to poverty and/or political turmoil. We provide College and Career Readiness support, including active partnerships to help our students continue to college or a better job. We are a safe, welcoming place where students can resume their studies with support and encouragement.
Quantitative Outcomes: Fiscal Year 2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)
Total Students Served: 1,548
Total Students Who Earned High School Diplomas or GED: 79
Skill Gains Achieved in Reading, Writing, and Math: Students enrolled in our Basic Education and High School Completion Programs are tested for specific skill gains via federally approved standardized tests.
English Language Learners (ELL) Served: 308
Reach Up: Our Reach Up employment specialists served 477 participants in the last year, helping them move from public assistance to employment
Qualitative Outcomes: What our work looks like
- A high school-aged student testing a catapult he built for a physics credit in one of our classrooms
- A multi-age ELL class with students from China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Turkey and Colombia learning the present and past tense of commonly used verbs
- A homeless youth from Spectrum Youth & Family Services, separated from their birth family, sitting in a math, computer or civics class as they strive to earn their high school diploma
- A teenager, who struggled in his local high school due to mental health issues, being tutored, 1:1, by a volunteer for an art history project
- A client from Howard Mental Health who comes to sit in one of our comfy chairs, almost daily, to read from our on-site library
- Students coming in for a morning ELL class, grabbing a VAL-provided, free breakfast and a cup of coffee, because they just finished the night shift at a local manufacturer
- A VAL educational advisor sitting with a student as they map out his/her/their plan to apply to college
Vermont Adult Learning was established in 1980 as the Vermont Institute for Self-Reliance (VISR), providing Adult Basic Education via correspondence courses. VISR expanded services to include in-home tutors, video courses and GED testing. VISR expanded to serve seven (7) of Vermont’s fourteen (14) counties, via a Vermont Agency of Education Grant. We serve the state’s most populous regions, covering the following counties: Franklin, Grand Isle, Chittenden, Addison, Rutland, Windsor and Windham.
VISR changed its name to Vermont Adult Learning in 1996. We host learning centers across Vermont, providing a safe, comfortable, professional and supportive place for adult students, ages 16 and older, to learn the skills and knowledge they need to prosper in 21st-century Vermont.
Adult Basic Education offers people, aged 16 and older, the opportunity to develop and/or improve basic skills in reading, writing, math, computers and speaking English to get a better job or pursue more education.
Adults who are 16 years old or older who are not enrolled in secondary school (high school, technical center, etc.) and whose learning level in reading, math, writing and speaking English is below the 12th grade level may participate.
If earning your diploma is a goal, we can help you create an educational plan to earn either your high school diploma or prepare for the GED test.
A High School Diploma is awarded by a Vermont school district. A GED Diploma is granted to learners who earn a passing grade on the GED Test of Educational Development.
If you need only a small number of credits to earn your high school diploma, and you have time to complete them, the High School Diploma can be a good choice.
If you need many credits or you wish to earn your high school credential in a short time, the GED may be a better choice.
For help deciding, schedule an appointment to meet with one of our academic advisors. They will be glad to discuss your options and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision that will prepare you for whatever goals you set.
Vermont Adult Learning actively cultivates relationships with partners from the governmental, educational, nonprofit, foundation and business sectors. We recognize that working across traditional boundaries enhances outcomes for our students.
Examples of these partnerships:
- Teaching an English at Work class for New Americans working at Rhino Foods in Burlington, Vermont
- Serving on a Vermont Department of Labor panel at a Workforce Development event in central Vermont.
- Partnering with Vocational Rehabilitation to support a student with special needs to earn their diploma
- Co-writing and executing a Vermont Agency of Education Grant with the Springfield (VT) School Department to create enhanced Personal Learning Plans for students
VAL values transparency and we want our staff, students, and donors to be informed of the financial health of our organization. We publish an Annual Report to share this information while highlighting accomplishments for our Fiscal Year, which is from July 1 to June 30. Our archive of Annual Reports can be accessed here.
“I love working here at Vermont Adult Learning. Every student who walks through the door gives me an opportunity to ask the right questions, thus giving students a pathway to find their right answers. It is in the discovery of finding their answers that they find themselves.” ~ MJ
“I love the diversity of work here. Each student brings their unique goals, talents, and challenges and the wide variety of learning opportunities here allows us to really craft an educational plan that fits that student and helps them move toward their goals. It can be hard work and there is always a lot to learn, but it is also incredibly rewarding.” ~ Joe
JOIN OUR TEAM!
At Vermont Adult Learning, each member of our staff can make a positive difference in a student’s life. That’s why we seek talented individuals who share our commitment to helping adult learners learn, grow and thrive.
To apply, submit a letter of interest, resume and three references to:
Human Resources Director
Vermont Adult Learning
PO Box 539
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Vermont Adult Learning is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer a competitive benefits package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, annual leave, sick leave, holiday leave, an Employee Assistance Program, and a 403(b) matching option.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Vermont Adult Learning is committing time, money, and resources with the goal of making Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) an integral piece of VAL culture. We would love to involve the insight of more VAL students, alumni, staff, board members, and community partners in this work. If you are interested in participating in some way with the VAL DEI Committee, please contact [email protected].
VAL is steadfast in its commitment to diversity and providing equal access to participation in its programs and services. We strive to be sensitive to known barriers of gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age. We pursue equitable recruitment and hiring practices in an effort to attract qualified staff and volunteers reflecting our population’s diversity.
Gender – All staff will work to ensure a gender-equitable environment, with the understanding that gender and sexuality are fluid, not binary. All outreach efforts and programs are gender-neutral. Faculty and staff will refrain from stereotyping based on gender identity, using gender-neutral pronouns, or student-chosen pronouns, whenever possible.
Race, Age, National Origin, Color – Recruitment is unbiased and Vermont Adult Learning staff will work to ensure every person, regardless of race, age, national origin or color receives equal access to all services. Hiring practices will reflect a commitment to full equity and inclusion. Our website’s Homepage (www.vtadultlearning.org) offers an auto-translate feature, making services more accessible to New Americans.
Disability – Vermont Adult Learning recognizes that many of our students and potential students meet the definition of having a “disability,” as defined by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). We make every effort to accommodate disabilities, such as maintaining ADA-compliant facilities, using assistive technologies (where available and applicable), offering flexible scheduling and many other appropriate accommodations and services. We are committed to removing barriers inhibiting equal access to our spaces and services.
Recruitment and hiring – Vermont Adult Learning has a commitment to fair hiring. We do not discriminate based on gender, race, age, nationality, color, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, including, but not limited to, ADA-accessible Learning Centers and assistive technologies.
Student outreach and intake – We collaborate with religious groups of all denominations, migrant justice groups, mental health providers, agencies, etc. Our outreach and communications include student representation from diverse demographic sectors. We create opportunities for and encourage staff to participate in trainings addressing issues of equity for the varied constituencies we serve. These measures, coupled with outreach and intake, are designed to increase staff awareness and remove many of the barriers our students encounter.
Vermont Adult Learning has in place a vast array of policies ensuring compliance with American with the Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102), WIOA Section 3(25), and the General Education Provisions Act, Section 427. We actively ensure that staff, students and potential students are afforded protections granted under the above provisions.