About ABE in Minnesota

Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a state-wide system that serves adults who are working towards a high school credential, learning English, improving basic skills such as literacy and math, and/or preparing for post-secondary education or employment. ABE is funded with both federal and state funds, and services are delivered through a network of 39 consortia comprising all Minnesota school districts as well as other partners including the correctional system and community-based organizations.

The mission of ABE in Minnesota is to provide adults with educational opportunities to acquire and improve the literacy skills needed to become self-sufficient and to participate effectively as productive workers, family members, and citizens. 

Statistics and Impact

In program year 2019-2020, approximately 56,000 individuals were served in ABE programs across the state. These students accrued more than 4 million contact hours.

More statistics and information about ABE in Minnesota can be found on this Overview of ABE document.

For a detailed look at the impact of ABE across the state, access the ABE Impact Report.


To be eligible for ABE, an individual must be:

  • age 17 or older and not enrolled in or required to be enrolled in any school in the K-12 system, 

And must meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • lacks a secondary (high school) credential
  • functions below the 12th grade level in any of the basic academic areas including reading, math, and ability to read, write and understand English.


ABE supports students as they work towards one or more of the following goals:

  • Obtain employment or improve employment by getting a new job or getting a promotion
  • Achieve a high school equivalency (GED or Diploma)
  • Gain or improve skills necessary to enter post-secondary education and training
  • Improve ability to speak, read, write and understand the English language
  • Master basic academic skills to help support their children in school
  • Become a U.S. citizen
  • Become a more active and engaged community member
  • Gain self-esteem, confidence and achieve personal educational goals

Additional resources

To see a map of the Minnesota adult education consortia, click here.

Any individual can search for an ABE program near them by visiting Literacy Minnesota's Adult Literacy Hotline or by calling 1-800-222-1990, or texting 612-424-1211.

More information about how ABE programs are organized into consortia across the state of Minnesota can be found at the ABE delivery system section of this website.

For more detail on student eligibility for ABE services, visit the Policy section of this website and open the Eligible Student Policy.