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Adult Basic Education (ABE)

“Your Fresh Start Begins Now!!”

Adult Basic Education is for adults who left high school prior to completing all requirements necessary to receive a high school diploma. To enroll in the AEL Program, pre-testing assessments in Math and Reading are required and determine a student’s academic skill level. Students who assess below a high school level are enrolled in ABE classes. Daily attendance will improve skills so students are able to transition to high school level coursework.  

Anyone 16 years and 9 months of age or older can attend AEL classes. Students who are of high school age, must complete a Request for Admission to Test/Age Waiver for High School Equivalency Diploma Form. This document requires signatures from the student, their parent, and the school district’s administrator and verifies the student is not enrolled at the high school. This form must be completed and returned prior to any pre-assessment testing and enrollment into the AEL Program. No one can be enrolled in both the AEL Program and high school at the same time.

To begin and remain in the Adult Education & Literacy Program students must:

  1. Attend an orientation session with an ABE instructor. 
  2. If applicable, complete and return the required Request for Admission to Test/Age Waiver for High School Equivalency Diploma form – with required signatures.
  3. Complete an application.
  4. Take Math and Reading pre-test assessments to determine academic skill level.
  5. Attend and complete direct instruction classes with our qualified teachers. 

Classes are offered through a variety of formats and lengths. These include:

  1. Online – this option is beneficial for students who have transportation, work schedule, family, or health issues preventing them from attending face-to-face classes. AEL Instructors communicate and monitor online progress. All five exam disciplines are included in instruction; Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Writing. Students must complete the required coursework in order to stay enrolled in the AEL Program. **All assessment and exams must be completed at an Iowa Lakes’ campus.**
  2. Fresh Start – this option is held face-to-face at the Algona, Estherville, and Spencer campuses and includes instruction for all five exam disciples; Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Writing. Class schedules fluctuate throughout the year but are generally 12-16 week sessions. Attendance is mandatory in order to remain in the AEL Program.
  3. Spanish Fresh Start – as HiSET® offers a Spanish option, this class is taught solely in Spanish. This class is held face-to-face and is offered at the Estherville Campus only. Preparation for all five exams is provided; Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Writing. Attendance is mandatory in order to remain in the AEL Program. ***Potential students who are not already fluent in Spanish reading, writing, and speaking will not be enrolled in the Spanish Fresh Start, but will be enrolled in ESL classes.***

***Classes are FREE to all Adult Education & Literacy students.***

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