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Office of Adult Education celebrates the four year anniversary of citywide adult education system

27 February 2018
General News Uncategorized

More than 20K learners have reached out to myPLACE℠ for adult education services

It has been four years since the Office of Adult Education (then the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy) first launched myPLACE℠ in January 2014 with the grand opening of three campuses across Philadelphia. myPLACE℠, which stands for Philadelphia Literacy and Adult Career Education, provides referral services for  classes and tutoring for adults and out-of-school youth.  The classes develops participants’ reading, writing and math, learn English as a Second Language (ESL), or get help earning high school equivalency (GED® or HiSET® prep).

Imagine you’re an adult, living in the fifth largest city in America and reading at a 4th grade level. Before 2014, you’d have to make multiple calls and spend a lot of time to find an adult education program that worked with your schedule and fit your needs. Before myPLACE℠, this was the typical process for an adult wanting to improve their skills. Classes were either booked or had a wait list. Sometimes learners were placed into classes that were either higher or lower than the level they needed or placed in multilevel classes.  myPLACE℠ brought a centralized system to the adult education community in Philadelphia. Learners were now able to sign up for an assessment test, which would assess their reading, writing and math skills to determine what level classes they needed.  Many also have the chance to develop their digital literacy skills too.

The myPLACE℠ launch

ahuth_me_mcol_samples-62 In 2014, the Office of Adult Education (OAE) launched three myPLACE℠ campuses.They are located at Community Learning Center, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund. myPLACE℠ has since added two more campuses at Center for Literacy and Southwest Community Development Center.

To date, over 20,000 residents of Philadelphia have reached out to myPLACE℠ for adult education services.

How myPLACE℠ works

myPLACE℠ provides a centralized system to meet with interested individuals, assess and enroll them into classes. Residents who need to improve their skills, learn English as a Second Language, continue their education and prepare for employment now has one place to make that initial contact. Community- partners use a student information system to track, manage and enroll students in programs throughout the city.
myPLACE℠ campuses provide intake, standardized assessments, case management, digital skills training, career counseling and enrollment in both face to face and online classes. myPLACE℠ was created to help easily access adult education services within their communities, and designed to be replicated nationally.

Open to all Philadelphia residents, people seek services from myPLACE℠ to achieve a range of goals:

For the first time, Philadelphia’s adult education providers have a student information system that provides timely data on the demographics and needs of adults across communities. This data enables the city to engage with neighborhoods to provide access to programs and services specific to their needs.

Adult learner profile

The education and skills gap is not a unique challenge to Philadelphia. In America, over 36 million adults lack adequate skills for the 21st century economy. In Philadelphia, an estimated 550,000 adults need to develop their skills. 217,000 adults do not have a high school diploma, and nearly 150,000 residents need to improve their English language skills (Office of Adult Education, FAQ).

Who are Philadelphia’s adult learners? The city’s adult learners seek quality education and opportunities for both their personal and career growth. The learners who enter the myPLACE℠ adult education system are 60% female and 40% male; 62% black, 22% Hispanic, 8% white and 5 % Asian; and 60% are unemployed. 38% do not have internet access at home.

ahuth_me_mcol_samples-62 myPLACE℠ accessibility – enrollment sites and partner providers

Enrollment sites are locations or organizations where learners can register for an appointment at a Campus which will begin their journey to enrolling in adult education classes. OAE provides these sites with the access to the registration system and trains the appropriate staff to help learners to make an appointment at one of the Campuses.

OAE currently has 58 community partners who are part of this system.  The partners provide classes, make education more accessible to learners and helps increase the capacity of the adult education system in Philadelphia.

To learn more or get involved, contact OAE at (215) 686-5250 or


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