Getting Started: Is VAL Right for Me?

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Getting started at Vermont Adult Learning is easy!

How do I get started? Call your Learning Center and make an appointment to attend an orientation session.  This is the first step to accessing any of our services. At the orientation you’ll learn about the different services offered and your reading, writing and math skills will be assessed.  This will give you a clear understanding of your current skills and where you need to go from here. You will be assigned an Educational Adviser who will help you set goals and create a clear path to meet them.

Where do I go? VAL has Learning Centers in six Vermont counties – AddisonChittenden, Franklin/Grand Isle, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor.  See your county’s Learning Center page and call for information.

When can I start? Orientation sessions are scheduled regularly so you can start anytime.

How long is it going to take? The time varies, depending on how much time you can commit each week, what your skill level is and your ultimate goal. Your adviser will work with you to set a realistic time frame.

When are the classes? Each Learning Center has its own schedule but VAL tries to accommodate adults who lead busy lives.

Do I have to attend in my county of residence? No – you may attend a VAL Learning Center in whichever location is most convenient for your work and personal life.

Can I transfer work from another state? Absolutely!  Your education advisor will want a transcript from either your former high school or if you’re choosing to take GED exams, the state education department.

How often do I have to come? Your schedule will vary and is flexible, depending on the classes you are taking. VAL recommends students devote a minimum of 4 hours/week in order to make consistent progress towards your goal.  These four hours could be attending class, doing assignments, improving skills via a computer-based program, and/or receiving tutoring services.  The more time devoted to your studies, the quicker you’ll complete your goals.

How much does it cost?   VAL’s basic services are FREE.  We are part of the state education system that offers free basic skills and high school education to all Vermonters.  There could be a few costs depending on your course of study, such as the option to purchase a textbook and the fee for the GED or WorkKeys tests.

What do I have to bring?   Initially, nothing at all.   As time rolls on, a notebook, pens/pencils, maybe a textbook, assignments, and a laptop if you have one.

Is there an age limit?  VAL is open to adults 16 and older.

I work.  How do you accommodate my schedule?  Our programs are designed for adults who have work and family obligations.  Many centers offer evening hours, computer-based instruction, and Saturday GED testing.

What services do you offer?
Basic Skills Education
High School Completion Program
GED Preparation and Testing
English Language Learner (ELL) Classes
WorkKeys Certification
Work Readiness
College Transitions

Tell me about the GED Test.  GED is a nationally recognized high school equivalency certificate.  The test is a series of four exams – Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies –  that takes up to seven hours to complete.  Writing, both short answer and an essay, is integrated into the Language Arts, Science and Social Studies exams. Beginning Jan 1, 2014, a revised, computer based version of the test was launched. The cost is $30/test or ($120/battery).  Visit for more information.


Newly arrived English language students attend an introductory class that focuses on computer-based instruction while waiting for regular classes to begin.

What happened to the Adult Diploma Program (VADP)?  VADP has been rolled into the High School Completion Program (HSCP).  Originally, HSCP was for adults under the age of 22.  Beginning July 1, 2013, HSCP is for everyone.

I started ADP, so whahappens to my completed projects? If you started in the Adult Diploma Program you can transfer your completed projects to HSCP, while continuing to work towards your diploma.  Opportunities may include taking a college class, enrolling in a vocational certificate program, developing your own personal project (s), taking GED tests, or combining several options that move you even closer to your personal education and work goals.

 What should I do next? Call your local learning center to sign up for an orientation to learn how Vermont Adult Learning can help you meet the educational and employment goals that are most important to you.