Boston Public Schools: Adult Education Programs

Filed Under: Education
55 Malcolm X Blvd.
Building 1
Roxbury, ma 02120
Phone: 617-635-9300
Fax: 617-635-9045

Boston Public Schools (BPS) has for over 140 years responded to adults in need of education and has recognized that critical to the success of every child’s education is parent and family involvement. In order to improve learning for all children, educational opportunities are made available for parents and other adults in the community.

They provide basic skills that prepare parents to enter the workforce, higher education and job training. Their adult students represent the Boston community: native-born Americans and immigrants who need educational credentials, English language skills and/or math proficiency to compete in the workforce.

The Adult Learning Center also serves as a test location for the HiSET exam (the new GED/high school equivalency exam). Visit the official HiSET website to register and for more information.

Call to sign up and find out program specific information; see brief program descriptions below.

The Family Literacy Program at the Adult Learning Center is a day-time program offering adult basic education, all levels of English for adult language learners, HiSET preparation, and computer literacy classes. Their program is free and parents of Boston Public Schools children are prioritized for enrollment.

The Family Literacy Program helps parents and children learn together. A Parenting Skills Curriculum  provides parents the opportunity to strengthen their parenting skills.

Boston Central Adult High School is an evening program that offers a 16-unit program (College Preparatory and General), eventually leading to a diploma comparable to the one offered by accredited day high schools in the City of Boston Public Schools. This specialized school for mature and serious-minded people allows students to participate in comprehensive programs of study and to complete diploma requirements during evening hours while maintaining full-time jobs.
Counseling is available to all students who would like to take advantage of the student support services. If you are a high school graduate who needs special courses to gain admission to college or to an institution of higher learning, Boston Central Adult High School may provide the courses you need to meet admission requirements.

Adult Diploma Program (ADP) is an alternative route to a high school diploma. Adults work at their own pace in this flexible program. It includes take home projects, performance assessments, frequent interviews, and library research. Graduates receive a Boston Central Adult High School diploma.

Career Pathways Program: Culinary Arts Training Program is for individuals looking to begin a career in the culinary arts. This program offers ESL classes, ServSafe certification, cooking, baking, computer literacy, and job placement.

Requirements & Restrictions

The Family Literacy Program at Adult Learning Center
Prospective students must attend an information and registration session, take a placement test to assess reading/writing and speaking/listening skills. Remember, there is no good or bad score. The test results are used to determine the best class for the student.

Boston Central Adult High School
To become a student you must:

  • Be a resident of Boston
  • Have completed school through Grade 8
  • Be over 16 years of age
  • Not be enrolled in a day high school
  • Pay a registration fee of $5.00 plus cost of books


  • Be a nonresident of Boston who meets the admission requirements and pays full tuition in advance.

Adult Diploma Program (ADP)
Candidates must be 23 years or older. Students register with a community-based agency and complete the diagnostic and assessment phases. All entering adults take math, reading, and writing assessments. Those who need to review or to strengthen basic skills are referred to existing educational resources in the community. The high school diploma is awarded when students demonstrate competencies in the five areas listed above, plus one individualized competency. The graduation ceremony is held in June.
Note: Students are also required to obtain a passing score on the MCAS in Mathematics, Science and English Language Arts or complete the state Alternative Portfolio Assessment.

Career Pathway Program: Culinary Arts Training Program

  • Interested in pursuing a career in Culinary Arts
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • English Language Learner (Level 3-4 Pre-intermediate to Intermediate)
Waiting time
Family Literacy Program at the Adult Learning Center: The current wait time is usually six months. It’s best to add your name to their wait list since they fill any open slots from the wait list.

While every effort is made to provide current and accurate information for the agency descriptions and hours of operation, it is recommended to call the agency to verify the information before visiting.

Last updated November 16, 2020


Agency information may have changed due to COVID-19. Please contact individual agencies to double-check their information.