Our Mission

Durango Adult Education Center is a caring learning community. Its mission is to fill educational gaps by equipping adults, children and families with the skills and knowledge necessary for 21st century careers, post-secondary education and social and economic mobility.

Our History

Helen James founded the Durango Adult Education Center (DAEC) in 1987. Her vision was to help those who had barriers to education secure a brighter future. The DAEC’s original mission started with adult basic literacy and English as a Second Language courses for those who were falling through the educational cracks. The DAEC relied on donations from individuals and grants, using volunteer teachers to tutor and build capacity.

Making a Difference

Over the past 27 years, we have assisted thousands of people improve their lives through education. With our help, students from the DAEC have worked their way out of poverty through a better education. Over 900 GED graduates have met or exceeded their educational and personal goals. Some graduates have continued on to higher education. Others have been able to sustain their own living by securing better jobs.

Organization Type

The DAEC is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. All donations are fully tax-exempt. Individual donors, corporate partners and grants fund our programs. Scholarships help our students afford their education. Statistics show that a better-educated community has less crime and is economically stronger. Contribute to the health of our community today by getting involved.

DAEC’s Structure

A volunteer board of directors governs the DAEC. The board provides administrative oversight of the organization through the executive director. There also are 15 paid staff members and over 50 volunteers. Additionally, the DAEC is a proud living wage employer.

What Makes Us Unique

  • DAEC is the only one-stop learning center in Durango, providing education for children, adults and families
  • We are the only GED testing center in Durango
  • We are the only center to offer ESL in Southwest Colorado
  • We provide on-site childcare for our students while they attend classes

Some Facts About Us

Many people think that the DAEC is part of the 9R school district. We do collaborate on projects with 9R, but we are not part of their educational structure. Additionally, some people assume we are funded by the state. Unfortunately, Colorado is the only state that does not fund adult education; therefore, community support is required to fund and run all of DAEC’s programs. We have always met the ever-changing educational needs of our community with a small staff and countless volunteers. However, we need your help to further our goals and continue our success in adult education.

  • 2017-2019 DAEC Strategic Plan
  • 2014-2016 DAEC Strategic Plan
  • 2015 990
  • 2014 990
  • Please, donate now in support of our educational efforts.