Greater Opportunities through Adult Learning (GOAL)

Improving adult education in Santa Cruz County takes time, dedication and a heart for the adult learner. We're so thankful to have these groups of educational advocates leading GOAL. Together we learn, collaborate, make decisions and do the work to improve adult education in Santa Cruz County

Immigration legal services for Cabrillo students/Servicios legales de inmigración para estudiantes de Cabrillo
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Programs offered through GOAL

Improving adult education in Santa Cruz County takes time, dedication and a heart for the adult learner.

Explore how to speak, read, write and understand American English.

You can pick the type of course that is right for your level of understanding, and take a class near you. **ESL courses are for non-native English speakers.

Courses are offered from beginning to advanced levels and are designed to help you keep learning as your English skills grow.
What will you learn?

Practical skills to help improve your English

Speak, listen, read, and write in English

English for everyday situations, such as jobs, parenting, dining out, shopping and more

At Cabrillo College

Noncredit ESL classes are FREE. Learn more here.

Classes are available in Spring, Summer, and Fall.

ESL credit classes cost $46 per unit plus student fees.

Classes are offered at both Aptos and Watsonville Cabrillo College campuses and online.

At WASCAE - Watsonville, Aptos, Santa Cruz Adult Education

English Learner classes are FREE

Classes are offered at 9 locations in south Santa Cruz County including Watsonville, Pajaro, and Freedom and 4 locations in north Santa Cruz County including Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, and Davenport

Find a job you love that helps you create a secure future.

CE programs help you uncover jobs you might not even know exist!

Taking a class or earning a skills certificate or degree can help you find a new job, earn a promotion, and make more money. Many classes give you hands-on experience through work-based learning or prepare you to transfer to a four-year college.

Who are these classes for?

Classes are for learners who are ready to take their job to the next level or find a new career. Many programs are for people who can make short-term commitments (less than two years), while others are designed for more long-term certifications.

Our high-quality classes are taught by local instructors and industry professionals. Some classes are offered in Spanish or with English language support.

What will you learn?

Explore high in-demand jobs in areas such as computer and information technology, health/medical, office computers, landscaping, food/culinary arts, manufacturing, digital media, and more

Select classes offered with English language learner support in the classroom

Find classes based on your interests and strengths

Stand out from other applicants with a short-term training or a certification

Cabrillo College

  • Classes are offered in 15 industry sectors

  • Degree credit courses are $46 per unit + fees

  • See class times and locations on the Cabrillo College website

  • For help with enrolling in NONCREDIT CE classes please complete this application

Cabrillo noncredit CE - are tuition free and some classes use the IBEST teaching model (English Language Learner support)

SantacruzCOE CE - offering CE including Dental and Medical assisting, pre-apprenticeship trades, and workplace skill programs

WASCAE CE - offering CE including Dental and Medical assisting, pre-apprenticeship trades, and Cosmetology classes

Click here for more information on other CTE programs in the county.

The GED and HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) are two tests you can take for your diploma equivalency.

Teachers offer a blend of in-class, online and individualized instruction to help you succeed. Earning your high school diploma equivalency shows employers you're ready for the job and can open the door to higher education. Instruction is in both English and Spanish.

What will you learn?

Focus on preparing for and passing the GED or the HiSET test to earn your high school diploma equivalency

Develop strong study habits, understand the exam format, and take practice tests

Improve your skills for college or career training

WASCAE - Watsonville, Aptos, Santa Cruz Adult Education

GED and HiSET preparation classes are FREE at WASCAE

Students are required to attend an orientation and complete assessment

In-Person classes require that you attend classes 6-12 hours per week

Classes are held in the morning and evenings and new classes start each semester

Classes are for adults who speak English or Spanish

SantaCruzCOE - Santa Cruz County Office of Education

The Career Advancement Charter (CAC) is an Independent Study Program for adult learners to earn their High School Diploma while gaining academic and technical sills that will lead to college and career readiness. You can submit a student interest form by clicking here

Cabrillo College

Cabrillo offers a paid GED preparation program in English through the Cabrillo College Extension department using the Ed2go platform. There is a self paced 3 month course or an instructor led 6 week course.

About Adult Basic Education

Take basic education classes and become better in reading, writing, and math with Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes. Classes are taught to help you in real life situations and help you get a better job.

Who are these classes for?

Classes are geared for adults learning at 1st to 8th-grade levels or 9th to 12th-grade levels. Often students begin with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and move on to Basic Education classes to sharpen their skills in reading, writing, and math.

What will you learn?

Improve basic reading, writing and math skills

Increase your earnings potential by preparing for a new job or advancing in your current job

Prepare for more advanced education, such as the GED or college courses


Classes are FREE at WASCAE Santa Cruz for Basic Education classes

Classes are held in the morning and evenings. New classes start each semester

Classes are for adults who speak English

Senderos - classes are offered through the Plaza Comunitaria program which also provides academic tutoring, skill building classes, and scholarships to native Spanish speaking youth and adults. The classes include Computer Literacy, GED Preparation, Spanish Literacy, Basic English, and Citizenship Test Preparation. The Plaza classes are provided free of charge and are held on Saturdays from 10-12pm at the Branciforte Small Schools site. Financial support may be available for students who are taking classes through Adult Education, community college, or other vocational or training programs.

Plaza Comunitaria at the Watsonville Library

Registration Help

Thinking of going back to school? Now is the perfect time!

We will help you register for classes so you can get ahead. We'll have information about affordable and FREE classes throughout Santa Cruz County, including:

  • English as a Second Language

  • Job Training and Certificates

  • GED and Citizenship

Questions? Call 831-400-8128 for more information. Se habla español!

Here are a few things to know about program requirements and preparation:

  • You will need an email address to apply at Cabrillo and WASC.

  • You don't need a social security number to apply to Cabrillo or WASC. Just leave the question blank.

  • You don't need a high school diploma to apply at Cabrillo or WASC.

More registration help can be found by clicking on the following links:

Cabrillo College
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The environment became like a second home for me. My classmates and teachers were super nice and the counselors are awesome. They break it down so it's not so overwhelming.
- Kelley
The people are so nice and so is my teacher. I am so thankful for her! Everyone is so friendly and we all have a laugh every day. I just love it.
- Shams