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Frequently Asked Questions

When do Adult Basic Education and GED® classes start?

Adult Basic Education and GED classes are offered throughout the year.

Adult Basic Education and GED Class offerings
Fall 2014 August 11 - December 12
No classes September 1 and November 26 - 28
Spring 2015 January 12 - June 5
No classes January 19, March 9-13, and May 25
Fall 2015 July 20 - December 10
No classes September 7-8, and November 25-27

When will my class meet?

Heartland offers various daytime and evening schedules. Most classes meet 3-4 days per week for about 3 hours each day. You will learn more about your schedule options when you come to your registration appointment.

Is there a fee for Heartland’s Adult Basic Education and GED classes?

No. The classes are funded by state and federal grants and are offered at no charge to students.

How do I register for Adult Basic Education and GED classes? When can I start attending classes?

Registration processes are different for each Heartland site. Please contact the appropriate campus for more information.

  • Normal: (309) 268-8180
  • Lincoln: (217) 735-1731
  • Pontiac: (815) 842-6777

At the Normal campus, you must call to make a testing appointment before you can start class. Please call 309-268-8180 or 309-268-8089 to make an appointment.

Testing usually takes 3 hours. During the testing session you will complete paperwork, take a reading placement test and meet with a staff member to discuss your educational and employment goals. After testing, you will need to attend a program orientation before you can begin class.

How long are the classes? How long will it take me to get my High School Equivalency certificate (GED)?

Once you’re enrolled you may begin attending right away and attend as long as you need to prepare for the test. Some students spend just a few months brushing up on things they’ve forgotten or never learned in high school; some students take a year or more to prepare. The length of time you need will depend on how regularly you attend class, and how much work you do while you’re in class. We’re here to help, but it’s up to you to do the work.

How are Adult Basic Education and GED classes structured?

Instruction is individualized based on your academic needs and goals. You’ll take a reading and math test when you enroll in the program. These tests tell us which areas you need to work on whether your goal is simply to improve your basic skills, prepare for better employment or prepare for the GED exam. Your studies will likely include reading, writing, social studies, science, and math. We can also prepare you for the U.S. and Illinois Constitution exam if necessary.

Do I have to attend the entire session of every class? Do I have to attend every session each week?

How quickly you complete your program will depend on how often you attend class and how hard you work while in class. Therefore, full and regular attendance is expected.  If you have questions about our attendance policy, please call 309-268-8180.

Do I need to take the Constitution tests?

In order to earn your High School Equivalency certificate in the state of Illinois, you must pass a U.S. and Illinois Constitution exam. You’ll have to present proof that you’ve passed the Constitution test before you will be awarded your High School Equivalency certificate. Many students take the Constitution exam in high school. If this is the case, you may call your former school and request a transcript. This will show that you’ve passed it. If you haven’t passed the Constitution test in high school, you can prepare for and take the test in Heartland’s program. You’ll receive a letter of completion after you pass.

I'm registered to take the GED exam, but I don’t have proof that I’ve passed the Constitution. Do I need to enroll in classes to prepare?

If you're in this situation please contact the Adult Education office at 309-268-8180.

Do I have to take classes before taking the GED exam?

No, but we highly recommend that you do. There is a $120 testing fee for the GED test, but classes are free.  We will give you several assessments when you enroll that provide information about how much preparation you need to pass all sections. If you’re ready to test immediately, you can register for the test. If you need some time to prepare, the classes are free, you can start attending immediately, and you haven’t paid a testing fee!

It's important to emphasize that the GED exam is a LONG and DIFFICULT test. Studies have shown that almost 40% of graduating high school seniors cannot pass. Most individuals who take the GED exam need at least some preparation in order to pass all sections of the test. You will want to be sure you can pass before committing the money, time and energy.

Can I take other classes at Heartland while preparing for the GED exam?

Yes, but you cannot receive financial aid without a High School Equivalency certificate.

Does Heartland offer childcare for students who are enrolled in Adult Basic Education and GED preparation classes?

Childcare is available on a limited basis at the Child Development Lab (CDL) on campus in Normal. Childcare is only available to students enrolled in daytime classes. If you are interested in childcare at Heartland you should contact the CDL at 268-8210. If Heartland’s CDL is unable to accommodate your child or children, the director of the CDL will help you identify alternative childcare arrangements.