Basic Skills Program

Adult Basic Education (ABE)

The purpose of the Adult Basic Education program is to provide instruction to those individuals who are functioning below a ninth-grade level. Instruction covers the fundamentals of mathematics, science, social studies, reading, digital literacy, and oral and written communication. Upon the completion of ABE-level courses, the individual should be equipped to enter the High School Equivalency Preparation program. For more information, interested persons should contact the Basic Skills Program at (910) 788-6326 or (910) 788-6432.

Adult Secondary Education (ASE)

The purpose or the Adult Secondary Education program is to prepare individuals for the official High School Equivalency test and enhance workplace employability skills. Instruction covers digital literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, reading, and language arts.

There are no registration fees. All materials have been specifically prepared for adults with emphasis on individual needs and interests. Off-campus sites are located throughout the county. The High School Equivalency Preparation program is available online to individuals who qualify.

For more information, interested persons should contact the Basic Skills Program at (910) 788- 6326 or (910) 788-6432.

High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation


Those receiving an acceptable passing score on all sections of the HSE test will receive a High School Equivalency Diploma awarded by the State Board of Community Colleges. The sections of the HSE test are: Reasoning through Language Arts; Reading; Mathematical Reasoning; Social Studies; and Science. The test is given approximately every month. North Carolina has adopted three different high school equivalency diploma options. These tests are offered as a Computer-Based Testing (CBT) and Pencil-Based Testing (PBT).

  • HiSET (CBT & PBT) consists of 5 tests. The fee for taking the HiSET (CBT) is $53.75 or $10.75 per test or (PBT) $75 or $15 per test.
  • TASC (PBT only) consists of 5 tests. The fee for taking the TASC is $56 or $11.20 per test.
  • Pearson (GED Testing Service/CBT only) consists of 4 tests. The fee for taking the GED test is $80.

Accommodations are available for test takers with diagnosed disabilities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Psychological or psychiatric disorders
  • Learning and other cognitive disabilities
  • Physical disorders/chronic health disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Hearing and visual impairment

HSE test is accepted as a valid means of awarding a high school diploma. Most employers and training programs accept HSE in the same manner as traditional high school diplomas. In addition, students may enroll in any community college program with the HSE diploma. Universities will accept HSE graduates after they meet other admission requirements. Students usually complete their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year school. Certain branches of the military will also accept HSE graduates while some branches may have additional requirements.

Adults who have not completed high school may take the HSE test at SCC.

Adult Basic Education for Individuals with Disabilities

SCC provides instruction for individuals with developmental disabilities at sites throughout Columbus County. Individuals enrolled in this program learn the fundamentals of mathematics, science, social studies, reading, technology, and oral and written communication. At the same time instructors are preparing students for employment and economic self-sufficiency. For more information, interested persons should contact the Basic Skills Program at (910) 788-6326 or (910) 788-6432.

English Language Learners (ELL)

The English Language Acquisition Program is designed for individuals whose native language is not English. These classes include instruction in literacy and English language acquisition, instructions on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation and may include workforce training. Interested students are encouraged to enroll in the Basic Skills program in the college's Basic Skills Lab (B-103) and at locations throughout Columbus County.