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Pima Adult Education initiative recognized as one of four best in U.S.

Tucson, AZ – Pima Community College Adult Basic Education for College and Career’s (ABECC) IBEST initiative is one of only four programs in the U.S. to be recognized Sept. 22 at the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Showcase.

Pima is being honored for its Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (IBEST), program, in which adult learners attain a GED® while they simultaneously earn college credits leading to degrees or industry-recognized credentials in growing sectors of the economy.

“Pima Community is honored that its IBEST program is being recognized at a national level,” Chancellor Lee D. Lambert says. “By providing the opportunity to earn credits toward degrees and certificates while working toward a high school equivalency, we are redefining college readiness to break down barriers to acquiring skills leading to high-paying careers in a variety of cutting-edge industries.”

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project is an initiative funded through the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Division of Adult Education and Literacy to identify and highlight innovative practices in Adult Education that lead to improved learner outcomes.

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Showcase will take place during National Adult Education and Family Literacy (NAEFL) week, Sept. 20-26.

About NAEFL Week

An annual event, NAEFL Week celebrates adult literacy and lifelong learning, and raises public awareness about the need for and value of adult education and family literacy. According to the National Coalition for Literacy,

  • 43 million working age Americans lack the skills needed for many of the nation’s fastest growing and highest paid jobs
  • Nearly 30% of adults with household incomes at or below the poverty line do not have high school credentials

PCC’s Adult Basic Education division plays a critical role in promoting adult literacy. Each year, it helps over 4,300 adult students who need to strengthen their basic literacy and math skills, improve their English, study for a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, and prepare for college and career.

In addition to participating in the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Showcase, the division plans to celebrate NAEFL week by sponsoring and participating in the following activities:

  • Adult Education Student Ambassadors will share their personal stories of how Adult Education has impacted their lives with local and national leaders on September 22nd and 23rd. These student leaders have all completed ABECC’s nationally recognized Student Ambassador training, where they developed their skills as advocates for Adult Education.
  • PCC will host its first ever Virtual HSE Graduation Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. This pre-recorded virtual event will include congratulations from student speakers, Mayor Regina Romero, PCC Governing Board Chair Demion Clinco and Chancellor Lee D. Lambert, among others.
  • All week, adult education staff and students will post student success stories and literacy facts on social media to raise awareness about the importance of adult education, and to celebrate this year’s High School Equivalency graduates.

About PCC Adult Basic Education

PCC’s Adult Basic Education program provides basic literacy to high school equivalency level classes, English language instruction and testing. Pima’s ABE program serves 5,000 students and testers every year. For more information on PCC’s GED/HSE preparation classes and testing, contact 520-206-7330 or go to

About the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project is a five-year effort to identify and highlight innovative practices in adult education that lead to improved outcomes. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE).


Libby Howell, APR, Executive Director

Media, Government and Community Relations


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