Image: Adult Learning Center, Brockton, MA

Adult Learning Center

Adult Learning Center

Image: Adult Learning Center Logo

Kathleen Quinn, Coordinator

Welcome to the Brockton Adult Learning Center (ALC). If you want to improve your literacy skills, prepare for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) or improve your English language skills, the Adult Learning Center may be just the program for you. The ALC offers a wide range of classes based on the College and Career Readiness Standards. These classes are taught by a highly qualified teaching staff both mornings and evenings.


Adult Learning Center Mission Statement

The Brockton Adult Learning Center shall provide each student with opportunities to develop literacy skills needed to qualify for further education, job training and better employment, and to reach his or her potential as a family member, productive worker and citizen in our diverse and changing democratic society.

Adult Learning Center Vision Statement

The Brockton Adult Learning Center offers a nurturing learning environment that is respectful of student cultural identity and responsive to the changing needs of our students and community. We provide certified staff, customized curricula aligned with the Massachusetts College and Career Readiness Standards and the ESOL Curriculum Frameworks, strong community linkages, and quality instruction, materials, technology and facilities. In this way we seek to support our adult learners in their quest to become empowered, active, life-long learners who successfully meet their goals.

Happy graduates of the Adult Learning Center

Supported by grants from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(DESE), Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board(BAWIB) and local matching Brockton Public Schools funding, the ALC is open to adults from Brockton and surrounding communities at no cost to students.


As early as the 1960s, the Brockton Public Schools offered evening classes for adults needing citizenship preparation and for immigrants wishing to learn and improve their English.

In July of 1972, Brockton received a federal grant to develop an adult learning center for English-speaking adults who needed literacy instruction and assistance preparing for the GED High School Equivalency Exam.

In January of 1973 the Adult Learning Center, then referred to as "Open House," was established to provide opportunities for adult learners to study at their convenience anytime between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

100th Anniversary Cake for ALC

The program's original service structure consisted of a combination of one-to-one tutoring and individualized instruction. The ALC was open year-round and included summer hours with reduced staffing. As the demand for English language instruction surpassed the service capacity of the public schools' evening program, the Adult Learning Center added classes for speakers of other languages in the late 1970s.

Brockton's Adult Learning Center has provided adult basic education and related services for more than forty-five years, and English language classes for more than thirty years. Our volunteer tutor program that began in 1977 is now more than thirty years old. Originally modeled after the Literacy Volunteers of America tutoring program, our volunteer training and support model was later modified to become a Commonwealth Literacy Corps Volunteer Program in the late 1980s.

Since its establishment in the early 1970s, Brockton's Adult Learning Center has provided services to thousands of adults from the Brockton area. Hundreds of adults have successfully completed the General Education Development Test (GED). From an initial enrollment of eighty-eight adult learners, the annual enrollment continued to grow. When the Massachusetts Department of Education required program reorganization to increase and intensify services in the late 1980s, the annual ALC enrollment stabilized at approximately 450 to 550 adult learners. The program was then structured around a series of classes that would allow adults to progress from beginning to advanced levels of both English language and literacy instruction.

From 1985 until 1994, the Adult Learning Center provided workplace education classes to employees from seven companies and one college. A different contextualized workplace curriculum was developed for each worksite. Some of these organizations privately funded their classes, while others provided classes with support from grants. Three companies continued to offer their classes even after grant funding had expired.

The Brockton Adult Learning Center established one of Massachusetts' first family literacy programs in February of 1988. Fifteen families attend adult classes while their children attend early childhood classes.

In FY 2006 the Adult Learning Center enrolled more than 650 adult learners in its daytime and evening classes. The ALC presently offers more than forty classes in which students develop literacy and ESOL skills. In addition to our main facility at the Paine School, the Adult Learning Center has offered satellite classes at various locations which have included Brockton High School and numerous Brockton elementary schools (Arnone, Huntington, Goddard, Angelo, Plouffe, and Raymond), the local Head Start program, St. Patrick's Church, as well as MainSpring House, Brockton's shelter for the homeless.

With over 650 adults actively enrolled on an annual basis, the Adult Learning Center addresses the educational needs of many adult learners, and yet more than 1,000 Brockton area adults remain on a waiting list for adult basic education classes and services.


A class in session at the Adult Learning Center

The Adult Learning Center offers a wide range of personalized classes to help our students work toward their individual goals. More than 30 classes are taught by a highly qualified teaching staff both mornings and evenings. Our students represent more than 30 countries, speak more than 20 languages, and range in age from 16 to more than 60 years of age. More than 500 students enroll at the Adult Learning Center every year.

Core Classes:

  • Adult Basic Education English Language Arts
  • Adult Basic Education Math
  • HiSET Test Preparation
  • Beginning English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Intermediate ESOL
  • Advanced ESOL
  • Distance Learning/Online HiSET Preparation
  • Adult Career Pathways

Supplemental Classes

  • Preparation for U.S. Citizenship
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Family Learning/ Parent Education
  • English Conversation
  • Writing for ESOL Students
  • English for Employment
  • ServSafe Certification Preparation
  • OSHA Certification Preparation
  • CPR Certification

Working on a computer at the Adult Learning Center

ALC PROGRAM INFORMATION - Learner Support Services

ALC learner support staff provide learners with services that guide ALC students, assist them in meeting their educational goals, and help students to overcome any barriers that might make successful participation difficult. Designated staff offer a variety of learner support services.

  • CounselingThe Learning Support Staff helping students in a classroom
  • Information & Referrals:

o Education advisement

o Career information

o Health, housing, family issues

o Immigration and citizenship information

o Next Steps advisement

Volunteer tutor support


Requirements for ALC Program Participation

1. Ability to abide by ALC Code of Conduct. *

2. Ability to learn and retain new information. During the first semester of enrollment, students who seem unable to benefit academically from ALC participation will be referred to learner support for a case conference meeting to determine an appropriate level of service and support. Students not ready to advance to the next level after three (3) years at the same class level will have an ALC case conference to determine if referral to other programs, services, or agencies is appropriate.

3. Ability to complete daily assignments with or without accommodation. Examples of accommodation include tape recorders, large print materials, time extensions, and calculators. Accommodations that pose a risk to personal or public safety cannot be allowed.

4. Ability to remain in the classroom without constant supervision by ALC staff. Enrollees in the program are expected to remain in the classroom during class periods except during regularly scheduled breaks or as pre-arranged with the instructor. Staff need to be notified in advance if auxiliary aids or services are requested.

5. Ability to understand the essential purposes of the ALC program. The Adult Learning Center is designed for adults who can understand instruction and use it to pursue educational goals. Persons enrolling in the program should be able to demonstrate understanding of this purpose, have appropriate goals to pursue, and participate in the curricular choices and instructional activities.

6. Ability to attend class and maintain at least a 70% average for class attendance. Students who are unable to meet this minimum requirement will be placed back on the ALC Request for Services or ALC Waiting List. All persons who enter the ALC program complete an assessment to determine their current educational needs and goals. Initial enrollment in the program does not guarantee that a student will be eligible to receive services indefinitely.

*Failure to follow the ALC Code of Conduct could result in dismissal.

Code of Conduct

The Brockton Adult Learning Center works to help all students learn well in a safe and orderly environment where all students and staff follow these rules:

1. Everyone is courteous and respectful to each other.

2. Everyone follows the directions of ALC staff in performing their duties.

3. Everyone respects the property of the Adult Learning Center, ALC staff and fellow students.

4. Everyone obeys the laws that prohibit alcohol and illegal substances on school grounds.

5. Everyone obeys the law that prohibits smoking on school property.

6. Everyone follows all rules for computer lab and ALC technology use.

Attendance Policy

ALC students must maintain at least 80% class attendance to be guaranteed a seat in a class for the following semester. Because there are more than 1,000 adults waiting for a class seat, we cannot hold class seats for students who are not able to attend regularly. We are sorry to have to do this, but we need to be sure that adults on the waiting list have the opportunity to attend classes also. Students unable to meet the 80% attendance requirement may add their name to the Request for Services list for enrollment at a future date when they will be able to attend more regularly.


Family Learning Classes

The Brockton Public Schools Adult Learning Center has maintained an active Family Learning Program since 1988. Fifteen

Kids at the Adult Learning Center

families with 3 and 4 year old children attend school together, four mornings each week, with parents attending ABE classes while their children participate in developmentally appropriate early childhood classes. For the Family Learning classes, participants must have a three or four year old child, must be a resident of Brockton, and must meet Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidelines for participation in an adult basic education program (limited English and/or skills below a secondary level). The Brockton residency requirement is applied because the Early Childhood classes in this service component require Brockton residency.

Family Connections Classes

These classes have no residency requirement; however, participants must be the parent(s) of a school-age child and meet DESE guidelines for participation in an ABE program.

Family Learning Activities

Parents in both the Family Learning and Family Connections classes attend two family celebrations each year. These have included puppet shows and visits to area museums and zoos. Parents receive activity packets for math, reading, and writing. They may also borrow children's books on CDs, children's games, books, and videos from the Family Connections Library.

Parents in these classes improve their English language and literacy skills through an emphasis on "real life" curriculum: parenting, schooling and child development, role-playing of parent conferences, shopping, banking, etc. They receive assistance with issues like how to "read" a report card, how to write an absentee note, how to register for kindergarten, and how to read aloud to children. They also learn life skills such as how to read and understand about advertising, contracts, driver's manuals, citizenship preparation, employment, insurance, health information, and participate in parent involvement training and presentations on a variety of topics like fire safety, nutrition, and Brockton Public School department services.

ALC PROGRAM INFORMATION - Citizenship Preparation

The Adult Learning Center offers four eleven-week citizenship classes, two that meet during the day and two that meet in the evening. At this time, Citizenship Preparation is a supplementary class available only to currently enrolled ALC students and is not presently available to the general public.

These classes prepare ALC students to complete the application process for US citizenship and to pass the US Citizenship Test. Information on US history and US government are covered as well as how to complete INS applications.


The Brockton Public Schools Adult Learning Center has maintained an active volunteer program since 1977. Volunteers work as one-to-one and small group tutors or serve as teaching assistants in ALC classes. Adult Learning Center volunteers commit to ALC service for at least six months, with a suggested commitment of at least one hour per week for a full school year. Volunteers are required to satisfactorily complete a twelve hour pre-service training and communicate regularly with the ALC volunteer coordinator and ALC teaching staff.

For more information or to register for the next volunteer orientation contact:


As a program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Adult and Community Learning Services, the Brockton Adult Learning Center is encouraged to maintain an ABE Advisory Council made up of a diverse group of stakeholders (e.g., students, volunteers, community members). The ALC Advisory Council meets four times a year and plays an active role in supporting the program's ability to meet its goals and contributing to the program's success.


The Brockton Adult Learning Center is supported by a combination of State grant funding that is administered through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and required local match funding provided by the Brockton Public Schools and the City of Brockton.

ALC PROGRAM INFORMATION - Community Partnership for Adult Education

The Adult Learning Center is an active member and co-convener of the Community Partnership for Adult Education. This partnership is a coalition of educators, service providers, employers, and others working together to provide quality services to adults in need of basic education. CPAE's goal is to expand adult learners' access to educational opportunities by sharing resources and expertise and to eliminate barriers that interfere with access to educational services. For more information, visit



Any adult 16 years of age and older who has not completed high school and is no longer enrolled in school can take our adult literacy and High School Equivalency Test Prep classes. For English language learners, there is no education requirement. Many of our ESOL students completed high school or some college in their native country but attend our program because they wish to improve their English language skills.

Waiting List

The Adult Learner Center keeps a Request for Services list. When an adult calls or visits the ALC and wants to enroll in classes, some basic contact information is requested. It is especially important that adults on the Request for Services list keep their contact information up-to-date. If we send an intake/assessment appointment postcard to an incorrect address and get no response, we contact the next person on the list. The same is true for incorrect telephone numbers.

The wait time for English classes can be long, from six months to a year depending on the class level. Wait time for placement in literacy and High School Equivalency Test Prep classes is usually six months or less.

ALC maintains a referral list of other classes at other programs in the area. This referral list is available at the ALC office.


Because the Adult Learning Center is funded with state and local money, there is no charge for Adult Learning Center services. ALC services are paid for with the taxes paid by our students and other taxpayers in the community.

BECOMING A STUDENT - Persons with Disabilities

The Adult Learning Center is an Equal Opportunity / ADA Compliant Program. As long as students are able to meet ALC participation, code of conduct, and attendance requirements, they may be enrolled as students at the ALC.

If you are a person with a disability who requires accommodation to participate in any program or activity, please contact the ALC at (508) 580-7475. Questions, concerns, or complaints regarding the American Disability Act of 1991 should be directed to Elisa Martineu at (508) 580-7535.




Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline

Find Adult Basic Education programs in your area.
(800) 447-8844

Massachusetts HSE Test Information

The official site for Massachusetts Department of Education HSE test information and test center locations.

Massasoit Community College

Massasoit Community College offers ESOL and HSE classes and is an HSE Testing Center.

Brockton Public Library

Dave’s ESOL Café

Dave’s ESOL Café is a free interactive online site for English language learners.

International TESL Journal

Links of interest to students and teachers of English as a Second Language.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

US citizenship and immigration information and forms.

Brockton Community Schools

Brockton Community Schools offers Adult Enrichment, ESL and Adult High School Diploma classes.

Massachusetts Coalition For Adult Education

MCAE is a statewide membership organization of educators, adult students, and others who support equal educational opportunities for adults.


CareerWorks is a non-profit one-stop career center for job seekers and employers.

Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board


ALC Recommended Websites for English Language Learning

Click on these links for practice in grammar, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation and listening skills. These websites are free and you can use them from home.

English for Beginning Speakers

Easy World of English
A user-friendly website for grammar, pronunciation, reading and listening practice. Includes an interactive picture dictionary.


A comprehensive website offering resources arranged by skill level.

ESOL Courses

Online learning for beginners through advanced. Beginner topics include: the alphabet, classroom objects, numbers, telling time, giving personal information.

English Speaking Basics

English Speaking Basics is for beginners who need help understanding the basics of speaking English.

Language Guide
See and say the word with this online picture dictionary.

Grammar and Usage

Activities for ESL Students
Grammar and vocabulary practice for all levels, including many bilingual quizzes for beginners.

Dave's ESL Cafe
Includes quizzes, grammar explanations, and discussion forums for students.

English Club

Everything for students of English, from grammar lessons to ESL games and chat.


Hundreds of exercises make this site a great tool for students. Parts of speech and vocabulary are classified by difficulty.

5 Minute English
A variety of activities including listening, pronunciation, idioms, grammar, vocabulary, and common errors.

Many Things
This website includes matching quizzes, word games, word puzzles, proverbs, slang expressions, anagrams, a random-sentence generator and other computer-assisted language learning activities.

Using English

A handy reference guide to major parts of speech and their usage.


Breaking News English

Learn English by reading recent news and global affairs stories. Includes vocabulary, grammar, discussion questions and more.

The California Distance Learning Project
Read and listen to a news stories on topics including working, housing, money and health, then work on activities based on the stories.

Spelling and Pronunciation

Business English Lessons

There are dozens of key phrases on this site complete with audio clips to help you practice clear pronunciation.


Learn to recognize the sounds in the English language and use correct intonation.

English Zone

Take on English spelling, including possessives, verb endings, contractions, and more, with this site.

Learn That Word

Learn vocabulary and spelling on this site.

Talk English

Click, listen and repeat to improve your English speaking.

Vocabulary and Writing

20-Minute ESL Lessons:

These audio lessons cover basic vocabulary for a variety of everyday situations, including office life.

Vocabulary Can Be Fun

Fun games designed to learn vocabulary through interactive play.


This site uses poems and short stories as writing examples and exercises to teach creative writing and usage.

Purdue Online Writing Lab

The OWL is a wonderful resource for learners at all levels. English Vocabulary has a number of resources for ESL including helpful business vocabulary lessons for several different industries.

Aardvark’s English Forum

In the student section of this forum, you can read famous quotations, work your way through novels in English, and do interactive language exercises to understand the written English language better.


A vocabulary builder for SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and general vocabulary.

Quizzes and Worksheets

Self-Study Quizzes for ESL Students

These tests will help you learn grammar, tricky words, vocabulary, and more.

English Club Vocabulary Quizzes

These word quizzes cover everything from animals and food to famous quotes and slang.

Advanced English Grammar Exercises

Dozens of detailed quizzes broken down by topic.


Get access to hundreds of worksheets for learning English from this online forum.

iSL Collective

Worksheets for practice or teaching yourself English.

English Gateway

Download these ESL worksheets to test yourself and use the teacher notes to double-check your answers.

Listening Podcasts


This podcast uses sporting news and analogies to teach English.


This podcast, prepared and recorded by native English-speakers, discusses current topics and introduces listeners to common slang, natural expressions, and interesting vocabulary.

ESL Aloud

These lessons range from basic word instruction to more complex situations like going to the store or working in an office.

Podcasts in English

This site offers free podcasts for anyone looking to learn English. They’re separated by skill level and subject so you can choose what is best for you.

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab
Excellent listening practice.

VOA Learning English

With this Voice of America channel, you can hear news and feature stories in American English, but spoken 33% slower than normal to make it easier to follow along.

Listen and Read Along

Listen to stories and read along with them by following the highlighted word. Hear pronunciation and intonation while getting a better understanding of sentence structure.


TV 411
This site includes videos with native speakers explaining key reading concepts like critical reading, summarizing and scanning, and key life skills like signing a lease and reading a medicine label. Following each video is a comprehension quiz. Click on the blue tabs across the top lead for lessons on reading, writing, vocabulary and finance.


How long will I have to wait to enroll in an ALC class?

The answer to this question depends on which class you are waiting for. The evening classes usually have longer waiting lists than morning classes. The wait for ESOL classes is usually the longest and may take a year for morning classes and longer for evening ESOL classes.

How long will it take me to get my HiSET (formerly the GED)?

This depends on your skills entering the HiSET preparation class. Some students finish in a few months, others take a year or longer. Students who complete homework assignments and actively participate in class usually progress most quickly.

Is daycare available for ALC students?

The Adult Learning is not able to provide day care for students at this time. However, there is a Family Learning Program where ALC adult students attend class while their 3 and 4 year olds attend an early childhood class offered through the Brockton Public Schools.

How much will I have to pay to attend ALC classes?

ALC classes are provided at no cost to students. There are also no charges for use of student books, materials, and supplies required for classes.

Do I have to live in Brockton to attend the ALC?

No. Because the Adult Learning Center is funded with both local and state funding, students from Brockton and surrounding are welcome to enroll.

Adult Learning Center

211 Crescent Street
Brockton, MA 02302

Phone/TTY: 508-580-7475 | Fax: 508-580-7096

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Adult Learning Center follows the Brockton Public Schools calendar.
Whenever there is no school in Brockton, the ALC is also closed.