Adult Basic Education

Image of ECC student in classroom.

ECC offers a variety of classes for English Language Learners and/or those seeking their High School Equivalency Certificate/GED®.

English as a Second Language (ESL)


English as a second language instruction can benefit any non-native English speaker, regardless of language group or nationality. You can gradually build your English skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in our Adult Basic Education ESL program. 

ESL classes meet in the mornings or evenings. They are open to eligible students and are free, but do not count toward completion of a degree or certificate programs. Classes are held at ECC’s campus and additional locations in Carpentersville, Hanover Park, and downtown Elgin. If you currently hold a student visa, you may not enroll in the ESL Program, but should consider our Intensive English Program for students who would like to begin a degree or certificate program at ECC.

Preparing for the High School Equivalency Exam


Preparing for the exam at ECC with free pre-college level courses for those who do not have a high school diploma and want to prepare to earn their high school equivalency certificate (GED®, HiSet®, or TASC™ for Illinois Residents).

GED® or HiSET®

This is an assessment of academic skills that helps determine appropriate placement and success in classes. ECC offers the Pearson GED computer-based-test on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, and on Saturday during the fall and winter semesters. Registration is online at hiset.ets.org.   


Disclosure of Federal Participation
Approximately $636,330 (36%) of the Illinois Adult Education and Literacy Program cost at ECC is federally funded under Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.