Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Dearborn Adult Education Registering Now for Fall Classes

As you are preparing your children or grandchildren to return to school via virtual classrooms, maybe you think it's time you tended to some unfinished business in regards to your own education? If so, Dearborn Adult Education may have what you are looking for.

Ioanna Garrisi is the Supervisor of Dearborn Adult Education (DAE) and has been with Dearborn Public Schools for 27 years. "Dearborn is the largest adult education provider in the state," she says. "We service on average, over 1,800 students per year." Garrisi says the bulk of those adult learners are taking advantage of the city's English for Students of Other Languages (ESL) and General Education Development (GED) programs. Other classes offered by DAE are High School Completion and U.S. Citizenship Test Preparation. Classes are free and open to all but include a one-time registration fee of $20 or $30. Textbooks and learning materials are free as well.

Garrisi says that traditionally, a majority of students are women who attend classes during the day while their children are in school. Classes are held at locations throughout the district. "Our students come with different needs; we have students that want to learn English so they can talk to their neighbor or talk to their kids' teacher," she says. "We have others who come because they want to learn English well enough to go to Henry Ford College or another post-secondary." Garrisi adds that some students arrive in the United States with a professional degree from their home country but are unable to speak English either very well or at all.

This fall, learning will be different for adult students, as Dearborn Public Schools will offer online only classes for all students. While registering for adult education courses, Garrisi says students also receive a "crash course" in using Zoom to access their classes. She adds that it has been relatively surprising how eager adult students are to learn the new technology. "It's amazing how much these people want to learn," she says.

Last year, DAE introduced GEAR, or GED Education and Resources, which is a free 15- week program designed to give GED students a head start in a career in accounting, healthcare, or general instruction/teacher's assistant, prior to enrolling in college. Students are dually enrolled in GED and the career training program of their choice. GEAR is a partnership between Dearborn Public Schools Adult Education, the Michael Berry Career Center, and Michigan Works!. DAE also works with students once they complete their classes, helping them to navigate either to the workplace or on to higher education.

DAE classes are open to residents of other cities. Classes are held both in the daytime and evening, Monday through Friday, with daytime classes running two hours long and evening classes running three hours long.

Registration for Adult Education classes has been ongoing since early August, and classes began September 8. Registration will continue until October 1 so there's still time to enroll if adult education sounds like something that interests you. "You never stop learning, you never stop trying to better yourself," says Garrisi. "Our goal is just to basically improve quality of life in an ever-changing global society; that's our mission, that's what we do."

For more information on DAE, go to To register, call 313-827-1900.


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