We will help you determine whether you should consider an adult school or community college for your next ESL class based on how you categorize your knowledge of the English language. What’s your level of comfort with the English language:
I want to study English, and I am a beginner. I need practice with the alphabet and numbers. Adult schools teach English classes to students at every level. Start at an adult school to build your English skills.
I never finished high school and want to get my GED. Many adult schools offer classes to prepare you to take (and pass) the GED exam.
I need to improve my English to communicate at work, my child’s school, and in my community. Adult schools teach English classes for students who want to learn basic communication skills. Start at an adult school to build your English skills.
I want a certificate to get a specific job. You can receive a technical certificate in subjects like mechanics, aviation, computers, business, and more at community colleges. Have at least an intermediate level of English before starting a certificate program.
I want to transfer to a 4-year university to get a degree. Many students take lower-level courses, such as ESL and math, at a community college to save money before they transfer to a 4-year university. Meet with an academic counselor to create a plan.
I need to improve my English skills, like speaking, reading, and writing. Community colleges teach ESL classes for different language skills. You can choose classes based on the English skills you want to improve in.
What are the costs of adult school? Regardless of your immigration status, there are no charges for materials. You must be 18 years or older or an emancipated minor to attend.
What are the costs of community college? The cost depends on the number of classes you take, how long you’ve lived in California, your family income, and your immigration status. There may be resources available to help you with costs. Please see a financial aid counselor at the community college for more information.
I don’t have a social security number. Can I take a class? Adult schools do not ask for a social security number. Community colleges ask for a social security number during the registration process, but students are not required to provide it. However, community college classes cost more without a social security number, as you will be considered an international student. If you went to high school in California, please ask a financial aid counselor about AB540.
If you are interested in learning more about adult schools and community colleges with English language classes in your area and at a time most convenient for you, please visit our Course Finder Tool.