Top Schools for Basic Skills

Learn where to find basic skills programs for adults. Find out what types of skills are taught in these programs and learn about a few schools with top basic skills programs.

Basic skills programs are typically aimed at adult students who need to increase their reading comprehension, basic math skills and writing skills before taking college-level courses, although some basic skills programs also include instruction in English as a second language, study skills and computer use. Students can find these programs at community colleges and four-year colleges.

School Information

The four schools profiled below are notable in that they provide a wide range of educational opportunities for students looking to build their basic skills in a variety of subjects.

De Anza College in Cupertino, CA

School Highlight: Founded in 1967, this school has 63 associate degree programs and 97 certificate programs.

De Anza College (DAC) is located in Cupertino, California, and it is part of the California Community College System. The school has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. DAC's Development and Readiness Education (DARE) program supports the school's Student Success Center (SSC), which offers a wide range of tutoring programs, skills workshops and other academic assistance programs.

Palomar College in San Marcos, CA

School Highlight: Palomar is a public two-year community college with over 200 associate degree and certificate programs.

Palomar College is also part of the California Community College System. This school participates in the state's Basic Skills Initiative and is a Hispanic Serving Institution, which means that it has access to federal funds to provide academic and language resources to non-native English speakers. Palomar also offers a summer bridge program for those who need to improve their language, math and reading skills before entering college.

Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY

School Highlight: This school has 62 degree programs, 20 certificate programs, and an average class size of 22.

Nassau Community College (NCC), part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, offers basic skills courses in English, math and reading through its Department of Reading and Basic Education. These courses are geared toward preparing students to read college texts and write college-level essays as well as strengthen mathematics fundamentals. This department also supports reading and basic education labs and help centers that provide tutoring services.

College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL

School Highlight: The school offers free GED preparation courses.

At the College of DuPage, students can find adult education courses in a wide range of basic topics, including business, finance, food, health and wellness, recreation, home and garden and languages. The school also has a Lifelong Learning Institute for individuals over the age of 50 who want to pursue basic studies in literature, art, local history or computers. Individuals can also enroll in music classes, regardless of their previous experience. Some of the 2017 course offerings include blogging, Adobe Photoshop, Excel Basic 2013, conversational Spanish, resume writing and investing.

Top Schools for Basic Skills

Students can also find basic skills programs and courses at these community colleges:

  • North Florida Community College in Madison, FL, offers courses for students who do not have a high school diploma or GED.
  • At Piedmont Community College in Roxboro, NC, the adult basic skills program includes family literacy education to help parents teach their young children.
  • At Pitt Community College in Greenville, NC, all adult basic skills classes are free.
  • Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, WA, has five learning centers that teach Basic Skills.

Interested individuals can find basic skills training at colleges around the country. The best schools in this field provide a wide range of educational offerings.

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