Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Adult Basic Education classes are for adults who are already proficient in the English language but wish to improve their basic reading, writing and math skills. Reading and writing are integrated to give students a foundation for effective communication. Reading instruction emphasizes comprehension, vocabulary development, critical thinking and study skills.

Writing skills include the review and application of language and grammar rules, correct usage and spelling, and writing sentences and paragraphs. Students learn to use writing as a mode of personal expression, as a valuable learning tool and as a necessary skill when pursuing a job, earning a living or acquiring further education.

Math instruction includes skills development in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages, and introduction to algebra and geometry.

Need to improve your skills before you apply?

We have classes that are designed for the high school graduate who needs to brush up on reading, writing and math skills before beginning college–level courses. Emphasized skills will help students prepare for any placement test such as the COMPASS.

Courses Available Most Quarters


  • GED® Math (mornings and evenings)
  • COMPASS preparation Math (mornings and evenings)
  • Level 2, 3, 4 Math (mornings and evenings)

Communications (Reading and Writing)

  • Level 2, 3, 4 Communications (mornings)
  • GED® Communications (mornings and evenings)
  • COMPASS Communications (mornings and evenings)

How to Enroll

New Students: New students must register before the quarter begins and attend an orientation. The orientation is 3 hours a day for 4 days and includes program information, assessments, testing, goal setting and registering for core classes.

Quarter Orientation Dates
Winter Quarter November 22–December 15, 2016
Spring Quarter February 28–April 23, 2017
Summer Quarter May 30–June 15, 2017

Returning Students: If you were previously in a program but not currently registered, you can register starting on the last day of the prior quarter.

Quarter Registration Begins
Winter Quarter December 14, 2015
Spring Quarter March 21, 2016
Summer Quarter June 17, 2015

Current Students: Register for classes on the last day of the quarter with your teacher.

Quarter Registration Begins
Winter Quarter December 11, 2015
Spring Quarter March 18, 2016
Summer Quarter June 14, 2015

To register:

  1. Visit room BE3122 on the Seattle Central main campus. (Current students, can do this on the last day of class.)
  2. Bring a picture ID.
  3. Register for class (New students register for orientation).
  4. Pay the $25 tuition.
  5. Attend your classes.

Academic Calendar

Note: In the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, we serve immigrants and refugees only. Individuals with F, M, B, Student, or J visas are not eligible for Basic & Transitional Studies.

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