East Area Adult School
7700 SR 544
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Adult education began in America during World War II, when the federal government passed the G.I. Bill of Rights in 1944. Many servicemen and women had volunteered for war before they had even finished high school. In an effort to provide these veterans with the opportunity to gain their high school degree, adult education programs were established all across the country.
East Area Adult School is administered by the Polk County School Board and provides adults with educational opportunities in the eastern portion of the county, including Auburndale, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Davenport, Dundee, Eagle Ridge, the Four Corners, and Frostproof. The main campus is in Auburndale, at 300 East Bridgers Avenue, but off-campus classes are held at over 30 convenient locations all over eastern Polk County.
The GED, or General Educational Development, is at the heart of the program. Established in 1942, the GED is universally recognized as the equivalent of a traditional high school diploma. Last year, Polk County’s adult education program awarded more than 1500 GEDs to graduating students. The GED program is offered free of charge to any qualifying adult, 16 years or older.
But thousands of other students attend East Area Adult School, as well. The Adult Basic Education program—ABE—is designed for those not ready for the GED program, who need help with basic skills such as math or reading. Successful completion of ABE allows entry into the GED program. ESOL, or English for Speakers of Other Languages, is also available. Like the GED, both ABE and ESOL are provided free of charge to county residents.
Community Education classes are also available, covering everything from tax preparation, to yoga, to computer education. Fees are required, but are usually minimal.