Frequently Asked Questions

What is Adult Basic Education?
Adult Basic Education (ABE) is class instruction for persons 18 and over who would like to obtain a High School Equivalency diploma or improve their English language speaking and listening skills in order to prepare for post-secondary education, career training and employment. In addition, the program offers classes for math, writing and computer skills. Classes are free of charge and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
What do I need to do to enter classes?
The first step is to complete an Application for Services at the STCC Adult Education Center (Building 27) any Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 3:00pm. If you cannot complete the application during the day, our office is open Tuesday and Thursday evening until 7:00pm.

Upon completion of the application, you will meet with ABE program staff to review your application, and you will be given a date/time to attend an Information Session.

At the Information Session a program staff person will provide an overview of the programs, resources, policies and procedures.  A short assessment will be administered and a date/time to return for an Orientation Session will be distributed.

Failure to attend or arrive on time for the Information Session or the Orientation Session will result in your application being placed on inactive status. To re-activate your application you must visit the Adult Education Center. No phone calls please.

Will I begin classes immediately?
We would prefer to enroll students into our classes immediately, but currently classes are filled. Once you complete the Orientation Session you will be placed on the wait list.
How many ABE/ASE class levels are there?
There are three class levels:
  • Level I - Basic Literacy (2.0 - 4.9 grade level)
  • Level II - Pre-ASE (5.0 - 8.9 grade level)
  • Level III - ASE (9.0 - 12.0 grade level)
Where are ABE/ASE classes held?
Classes are held on the following day/times/location:
  • Mon, Wed, Fri.  9:00 am-1:00 pm
  • Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri 9:00 am-12:00 pm; SHA Sullivan Housing complex 160 Nursery St
  • Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri 1:00 pm-4:00 pm; SHA Sullivan Housing complex 160 Nursery St
  • Tues, Thurs, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm; STCC campus
  • Tues, Thurs, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm; STCC campus
How many ESOL class levels are there?
There are three class levels:
  • Level I-Beginning (SPL 0 - 2)
  • Level II-Intermediate (SPL 2 - 4)
  • Level III-Advanced (SPL 4 - 6)
Will I need a textbook?
No, all textbooks will be provided for you.
Will I need supplies?
Yes, pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, etc.
Where will I take my High School Equivalency test (HI SET)?
There are various HiSET testing centers in the region. You must register for the exam online through the Educational Testing Service:

If you need assistance completing the online registration or have other questions regarding the new HiSET exam please visit the STCC Testing Center in Building 17, Room 425.

For more information call the Testing Center at 755-4709.

Is there help available if I want to explore career, college, or employment opportunities?
Yes. During your enrollment in the program, the Career & Educational Advisor meets with each student and develops a career education plan.
Is there help available if I want to attend college?
Yes. The Transition to College Advisor is available to assist you. Please contact the Adult Education Center at the number below.
What should I do while I am on the Wait List?
You will be given a While You Wait information sheet at the Orientation Session with suggestions to help you explore ways you can begin to improve your skills while waiting for a class opening.
Who should I contact for more information?
Call the STCC Adult Education Center at (413) 755-4300 or visit our web site at:
What information is available for STCC's ESOL (English For Speakers of Other languages) services?
In partnership with Holyoke Community College, three levels of ESOL are offered on a daytime schedule only. Please call 413-755-4300 for information.