Adult Education

The Adult Education (AE) Division offers adults the opportunity to begin and/or complete a basic education through the twelfth grade. AE also provides a variety of educational programs and student support services that can help individuals achieve their goals and transition to college. A complete education improves one’s opportunities for obtaining or retaining employment and going to college and can provide a person with a sense of accomplishment.

AE instructional programs and classes include basic literacy, English as a second language (at various levels), EL/Civics, high school equivalency, college preparation, U.S. citizenship, computer literacy, and work readiness. Practical living skills, employment and training, and student success principles are also emphasized throughout the AE curriculum. Student-support services include basic skills assessments, student orientations, self-paced studies, advising and referral services, student success skills, tutoring on an individual and small-group basis, and assistance with college transition.

AE does not charge for classes, services, or textbooks.

Free, Noncredit Instructional Programs

High School Equivalency. Those 16 years of age or older who do not have a high school diploma may attend classes or study at any adult learning center in preparation to successfully pass the mathematics, reading, writing, social studies, and science high school equivalency tests. AE offers high school equivalency instruction in either English or Spanish. Students who attend Spanish high school equivalency classes are required to concurrently enroll in and attend ESL classes. For additional study, students may receive free tutoring at any DACC adult learning center. Sixteen-year-old students are accepted into the high school equivalency program with an official withdrawal notice from the public schools.

Every May, AE invites high school equivalency graduates to participate in a DACC commencement ceremony and can assist graduates transitioning to college.

ESL—English as a Second Language. This program helps improve English language skills for non-native speakers. Students will be pre-tested and placed at the appropriate level. Students acquire academic English skills (reading, writing, and grammar), build their vocabulary, and increase conversation, listening comprehension and life skills. Small group instruction is available at each center to support learning. Advanced ESL students who are ready to exit the program and have an interest in transitioning to college are assisted with the process to help them experience success.

U.S. Citizenship Preparation. Those eligible to become U.S. citizens can receive assistance in preparing to take the citizenship test. Knowledgeable instructors teach U.S. history, government, citizens’ rights, duties and responsibilities, requirements for U.S. citizenship, civic participation, basic reading, writing, and conversational English. Instructors also provide practice with testing and the interview process. At the learning centers, AE provides citizenship workbooks, sample questions, and information about U.S. citizenship, as well as occasional citizenship application workshops. Classes also are taught in Spanish for those who qualify to interview in Spanish. Students in the citizenship classes who meet specific criteria may apply for a scholarship to help with the cost of filing for U.S. Citizenship. Scholarships are awarded each January and July.

Computer Literacy Classes. AE students are able to participate in various online computer literacy programs. These programs are self-paced and tutoring is provided as needed..

Reading Improvement Program for Adults

It is estimated that 30 percent of the adult residents of Doña Ana County have less than a twelfth-grade education. Literacy Volunteers of Doña Ana County, in alliance with AE and the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, is a program that provides adults an opportunity to learn basic reading, writing, and numeracy through the sixth-grade level. Trained volunteers are matched with students most in need of one-to-one or small-group tutoring. The program also offers opportunities for free tutoring and/or tutor training at other locations.

Those interested in volunteering to teach, or in referring someone for help with reading, are encouraged to call (575) 527-7641 or to log on to Literacy volunteer tutors generally are available at all learning center locations.

Student Records

All student information and records are held strictly confidential.

Enrolling in Classes

Each fall, spring and summer session, AE offers classes in English as a Second Language, high school equivalency classes in English and Spanish, and U.S. Citizenship. Both intensive and regular classes meet at Doña Ana Community College and at several other locations throughout Doña Ana County. New or inactive students must be pre-tested and complete the new student orientation at the nearest learning center in order to be placed in classes according to learning level and need. AE offers classes at its four learning centers (Las Cruces, Chaparral, Gadsden, and Sunland Park), and in outlying communities throughout Doña Ana County.

We strongly encourage students to pre-register two to three weeks prior to the beginning of each semester. Students in outlying communities can also register in the classroom during the first three weeks of class, on a first-come, first served basis. New or inactive students must complete pre-assessment and orientation at any learning center prior to enrolling in a class.

Tutoring Services

Doña Ana Community College has four adult learning centers offering individualized tutoring, small group instruction, and computer-assisted and self-paced instruction to supplement classroom instruction, or as an alternative to the AE classroom program.

Trained tutors provide personal assistance and small-group instruction in reading and writing, mathematics, grammar, ESL, and other basic skills. AE staff understand that learning takes time and make an extra effort to be helpful and patient. For the purpose of placing students accurately, tutors are trained to administer the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and the ESL TABE-ClasE assessment.

After pretesting is completed, students are advised regarding their level, learning needs, educational goal(s) and plan, strengths, and learning progress. After completing a post test, students are advised to assess learning progress. Centers have a comprehensive inventory of textbooks and excellent, multi-media educational software to provide a variety of approaches to individualized learning. All of the services are free of charge. Students are encouraged to call the nearest learning center to sign up for the required pretest and new student orientation! Se habla español.

Support Services for Student Success

At the adult learning centers, many of the following types of student support can be found: pretesting, academic advising, new student orientations, guidance with goal-setting and college transition, student follow-up, information and referral, and career guidance.

Study Skills/Learning Styles

For learners having difficulty with their education as the result of ineffective study habits, AE has a solution. The learning centers throughout the county have resources, information, and staff that can help improve time management, listening, note taking, and test-taking skills. Students are encouraged to find out about their learning styles and develop study techniques that can help them become more successful.

Computer-assisted Instruction

Students can take advantage of multi-media computer tutorials covering a wide range of academic subject matter at various levels. The tutorials, available in the computer labs at the adult learning centers, help improve skills in reading, math (through basic algebra and geometry), and grammar. There are also tutorials focusing on science, ESL, and social studies.

College Transition Advising

College Transition Advising, offered through AE, assists students in preparing for a successful experience in college. The advising is available for students at each of the learning centers and guides students in making a successful transition from AE to college. Students will become familiar with the admissions process, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and DACC and NMSU career options and pathways. Call (575) 528-7038 for an appointment.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

AE offers the Application for U.S. Citizenship. Many AE students interested in transitioning to college are also eligible to apply for and receive the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship and other DACC tuition scholarships. Many college transition students also may qualify for federal financial aid.

Contract Services and Community Partnerships

Contract services or agency partnerships can be arranged with schools, community-based groups, social-services providers, and/or employers who are interested in providing or negotiating related basic educational services for employees who fall under the following categories:

  • Displaced workers
  • Welfare (TANF) participants (work readiness)
  • Adult clients of public and social service agencies
  • Students enrolled in high school equivalency programs (HEP)
  • Workplace literacy (integrated with basic skills and/or English as a second language) participants
  • Participants in federal and international education programs
  • Family literacy participants
  • WIOA adult training program participants

For more information, please call (575) 527-7741.

Ability to Benefit

AE provides services based on the adult learner’s ability to demonstrate academic learning advancement and attain AE educational goals, such as attaining a high school equivalency credential or transitioning to college and/or to employment. Referrals to outside agencies will be addressed at the proper professional and administrative levels, based on intake, pretesting, and student progress.


NOTE: Day and evening classes also are available in the fall, spring and summer semesters. Since schedules vary and change, please call for current information. In addition to the learning centers listed in this section, AE classes also are offered at various sites throughout Doña Ana County, including the Mesquite Center located in the DACC Workforce Center (2345 Nevada Ave., Las Cruces, NM, (575) 528-7479). Class locations are listed in the current AE Class Schedule.

Las Cruces

Quintana Adult Learning Center
Doña Ana Community College, room DALR-160
3400 South Espina St.
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Phone: (575) 527-7540, 527-7740
Toll Free: 1 (800) 903-7503
Fax: (575) 528-7065
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Anthony Area

Gadsden Adult Learning Center
Located in the DACC Gadsden Center
1700 E. O’Hara Rd.
Anthony, NM 88021
Phone: (575) 882-6813
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.


Chaparral Adult Learning Center
755 Prescott Anthony Dr.
Chaparral, NM 88081
Phone: (575) 824-2010
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Sunland Park

Sunland Park Adult Learning Center
Located in the DACC Sunland Park Center
3365 McNutt Road & Santo Domingo Road
Sunland Park, NM 88063
Phone: (575) 874-7790
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.