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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English as a Second Language (ESL)

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

Cabrillo College

  • Non-credit ESL classes are FREE. Learn more here
  • Classes are available in Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • ESL degree-credit classes cost $46 per unit plus student fees. 
  • Classes are offered at both Aptos and Watsonville Cabrillo College campuses

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 3 locations in north Santa Cruz County including Santa Cruz, Capitola and Aptos
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Career Technical Training (CTE) and Job Training

Find a job you love that helps you create a secure future. Career Education, also known as Career Technical Education (CTE), 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 and English.

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 both English and Spanish instructors 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

Cabrillo noncredit CTE - Cabrillo's noncredit CTE classes use the IBEST teaching model, and are tuition free!

SCCOE CTE - offering CTE and workplace skill programs

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

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GED, HiSET and Citizenship

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


The Career Advancement Charter (CAC) is an Independent Study high school diploma program for adults who are looking to further their education, career and life opportunities. Our team works with you, in a supportive and engaging environment to give you a quality educational experience. We offer daytime and evening hours for the working adult student, understanding that every student is unique and reaches success differently. We are able to work directly with you to match high school credits with your career experiences and explorations. The CAC provides an individualized, flexible approach to your education and in obtaining your high school diploma.

The Career Advancement Charter supports students in achieving the following:

  • Attainment of a high school diploma
  • Successful transition to community college
  • Successful transition to family-sustaining employment
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Basic Adult Education

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

Cabrillo noncredit Math - Cabrillo's noncredit Math classes are tuition free!

Senderos - Plaza Comunitaria provides academic tutoring, skill building classes, and scholarships to native Spanish speaking youth and adults. 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 in the evenings and on weekends. Financial support may be available for students who are taking classes through Adult Education, community college, or other vocational or training programs.

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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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What students are saying about Adult Education


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

Definitely start taking adult ed classes. They are a stepping stone for a higher education. Never give up! - Ovidio