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Our Programs

Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council is a national leader in adult education and family literacy. We provide educational programs for 4,600 adults and families each year in the Pittsburgh area.  Our students become better parents, workers, and citizens as a result of these programs.

GPLC provides the following types of instructional programs:

a. Basic Skills (reading, writing, math)

For a basic education program for adults, we offer one-to-one and classroom instruction in reading, writing and math. These classes cover a wide range of skills depending upon the needs and goals of the students. For example, some students want to read to their children and help them with schoolwork. Others want to prepare for the written driver's license exam or understand printed forms. Others are working toward a GED (high school equivalency diploma) or employment.

b. Preparation for the high school equivalency diploma (HiSET® or GED® Tests)

GPLC can prepare test takers for either exam to earn the Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma.  GPLC teachers and volunteer tutors prepare students to succeed on these tests and also teach them test-taking skills.  We help students earn their high school equivalency diploma through free classes in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

GPLC began to administer the HiSET exam to test takers who are working to earn a high school equivalency diploma in June 2016.  The HiSET® is a Pennsylvania approved high school equivalency test that will provide the very same credential as the GED® test.  The HiSET is less expensive, more accessible, and it is very similar to the former GED paper test.  The HiSET test conisists of five test subjects:  Language Arts - Reading, Language Arts - Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies. 

Test takers must be pre-registered and pre-paid to take the HiSET exam.  GPLC offers testing at its headquarters at 411 7th Avenue.  For more details on the HiSET test and the registration process, please visit  Please call 412-393-7650 for more information about taking the HiSET test at GPLC. 

c. English as a Second Language

We offer classes in conversational English for adults from foreign countries who will be staying in this country permanently. The students range from refugees from war-torn countries to businessmen and women who have immigrated to this country. These students are eager to improve their spoken English so they can succeed with everyday living in this country. They also have a strong desire to develop their English listening, reading, and writing skills. Instructors also focus on teaching about American culture. (This program is not intended for visitors to the U.S. or those with an F1 Visa.

d. Immigrant Services & Connections (ISAC)

ISAC is a multi-agency collaboration designed to connect immigrants in Allegheny County to important resources and services.  As a partnering agency, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council provides service coordination and information, assistance, and referral support to GPLC’s immigrant and refugee students and as well as to their friends, family, and community members. To learn more about the program or to make a referral, contact Jen Hayes, ISAC Service Coordinator at 412-393-7625.

e. Workplace Skills Development (serving employers and employees)

For many businesses, the need to remain competitive requires that their employees accept additional work responsibilities and improve their job-related skills. GPLC custom designs educational programs that consider the objectives of the employers while satisfying the needs and goals of the employees. The benefits received by companies participating in this program have been increased productivity, improved employee morale and self-confidence, and reduced turnover.

f.  Workforce Preparation

GPLC's Workforce Preparation Program enables the adult student to acquire his or her high school equivalency diploma (GED), become computer literate, and participate in job preparation and/or college preparation classes.

g. Families for Learning (serving parents and young children)

In our family literacy program, children develop language and literacy skills with the support of their parents or primary caregivers, who also have the opportunity to improve their own skills.  This program includes the following four elements:  adult education, parent education, intergenerational literacy activities, and early childhood education.  This program can literally lift families out of poverty.  GPLC has been a partner with the National Center for Families Learning since 1995.

h. Computer Skills Training

In today’s technological world it is crucial for all adults to have basic computer skills, both for work and for personal development. GPLC provides a range of computer training classes at two downtown Pittsburgh locations. These classes start with computer basics and the Internet for beginners and then progress to specific software applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Mid-career professionals can benefit from these classes, as well as adult literacy students.

i. Health Literacy

Adults with low literacy often struggle to maintain their health due to the written forms that they must understand and fill out. They even misunderstand the instructions on prescription medications, putting their health and the health of their family members at risk.

GPLC has developed a health literacy curriculum dealing with issues that many of our students face, such as taking medications, nutrition, children’s health, diabetes, poisonous substances in the home, and other topics. This information can be added to any of GPLC’s other programs, or it can be presented as a separate class. We stand ready to present this information to community groups throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

j. AmeriCorps

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k. OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring

Children in grades K-3 receive one-to-one help with reading skills through OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring, an affiliate of GPLC. This program is currently offered in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and Woodland Hills School District. OASIS provides a proven approach to help at-risk children read at grade level. Volunteers who are over age 50 tutor children in grades K-3 each week at the schools that the youngsters attend.