Adult Education - Black Hawk College

Adult Education

Adult Education classes are non-credit and are provided at no cost to learners who qualify. Students acquire basic academic skills that assist them in transitioning to employment, training and postsecondary education. Black Hawk College holds classes at learning centers throughout the district.


Requirements vary by program. Select a program for details and contact Adult Education for additional information.

Program Name
Adult Education English as a Second Language (ESL)
Volunteer Literacy
Optional Education & Youth GED®

Support Services

Bus tickets are available to students who receive public assistance, are unemployed or underemployed (determined by income). To request bus tickets, please ask at the class site location.

Child care
The Community Child Care Resource and Referral Center can assist in locating child care services for daytime or evening classes. Call 563-324-1302.

Services for students with disabilities
If you will need accommodations due to a disability (e.g. sign language interpreter, special seating) to participate in any BHC activity or program, please call the BHC Quad-Cities Campus Disability Services Office at 309-796-5900 or 309-716-3310 (video phone) or contact Adult Education staff at 309-796-8216. A one-week advance notice of accommodation needs is recommended. For more information visit Disability Services.

Parenting preparation
Pregnant and parenting students have access to individual counseling sessions as well as family living, nutrition, and child care and development classes.

Community linkages
With the student’s permission, Optional Education will coordinate services and goals with social service agencies, psychologists, psychiatrists, court services and drug/alcohol programs.

Counseling – Optional Education
The Youth Service Bureau provides counseling services to students enrolled in the Optional Education program.

Academic ESL Program

We try to keep our class size to about 15 students so you can get personal attention from your instructor and easily work with classmates.

Most of the classes in the Academic ESL Program are developmental courses. This means that students take these classes to prepare them to take college-level classes, so students do not receive academic credit for these classes. But if you take ESL 078/COMM 100 or ESL 072/COMM 105, you will receive academic credits for these classes while enrolled in the Academic ESL Program.

You can begin the Academic ESL Program at three times during the year:

  • The fall semester begins in August and ends in December.
  • The spring semester begins in January and ends in May.
  • The summer session begins in June and ends in July. This is an intensive six-week session.

Eligible permanent residents or citizens may apply for financial aid to pay for tuition and possibly books. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. Some limited scholarships are available for ESL students through the Black Hawk College Foundation.

Yes. The classes in the Academic ESL Program are five-credit-hour classes, so students need to pay tuition based on the current per-credit-hour fee.

The number of classes that you have to take will depend on the type of program and the major that you choose. In general, students who choose to take certificate programs or two-year vocational programs should complete the classes in Level 6 (Intermediate courses). However, students who want to complete associate degrees or transfer programs should complete Level 7 (Advanced courses).

Before you enroll in the ESL Program, you will be given a language placement test. Your level is determined by your score on the test. For more information about ESL classes, please call 309-796-8216.

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