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Adult Literacy

NECC offers FREE classes in Lawrence at the Riverwalk.


The Center for Adult Education Programs and Preparation (CAEPP) is administered by Northern Essex Community College within the Center for Corporate and Community Education and funded with grants from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Adult and Community Learning Services and private grants. The NECC CAEPP offers Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs for High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation, Transition to College, ESOL low intermediate to high intermediate/advance, ESOL Adult Career Pathways and ESOL Bridge to College and Careers.

The High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) program provides basic skill instruction in Language Arts Reading and Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Math to prepare adult learners to obtain their high school credentials and to succeed in their next steps.

The ESOL Program offers classroom instruction in reading, writing, oral communication and grammar incorporating basic computer skills, Math and Career Ready 101 skills.

The Transition to College program prepares and enables adult learners to transition into and complete post-secondary education or training through academic instruction, appreciative advising, a three-credit college success course, and 2 three credit computer courses.

The ESOL Bridge to College and Careers offers pre-college English language instruction in reading, writing and oral communications while developing computer skills, college and career skills, and Math skills.

The NECC CAEPP serves adults who live in the Merrimack Valley and is committed to:

  • Educating adult learners at all levels, from basic skills to High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation, college preparation, and career readiness
  • Recognizing and respecting the diversity of our students
  • Providing a safe learning environment
  • Encouraging life-long learning

What is Adult Basic Education?

ABE or Adult Basic Education is an umbrella term that describes a range of educational services for adults; from basic literacy, numeracy, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), and Transition to College.

These programs help adult learners to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence that will serve them in their roles as family members, parents, community leaders and employees, as well as with post-secondary education and training.

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