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ABE-Adult Basic Education

Adult Basic Education (ABE)...more than a GED


The mission of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program is to provide instruction to adult learners and prepare them for transitioning into the labor market or higher education or vocational training. Primary program goals are to improve basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics and English as a Second Language.

This free program helps adults, age 17 or older who are not enrolled in a secondary school, develop these basic skills.


Instruction is provided in small groups, independent study, and distance learning. Call to schedule an intake appointment. Intake sessions are approximately 2 hours and involve a reading assessment to place you appropriately in the right level and to develop a personal education plan. You must be able to commit to weekly time in class or completing weekly distance learning assignments to maintain active student status.

Elk River Learning Lab offers 3 pathways to earn a secondary credential:


The GED® test was updated in 2014 to align with current high school graduation requirements and expectations of colleges and employers. The tests are offered in both English and Spanish, on-line at approved testing centers. The four parts of the test include:

  • Science (90 minutes)
  • Social Studies (90 minutes)
  • Reasoning through Language Arts (150 minutes including a 10-minute break)
  • Mathematical Reasoning (120 minutes)
  • The fee per subject area is $30 per test and you pay for each subject individually when you are ready. Contact the Elk River Learning Lab to see if there are any discounts offered for the exams.

GED Ready®, the official practice exam, costs $6 per test. Taking an official practice test can determine if you’re likely to pass, if your score is too close to call, or if you’re not likely to pass. These tests must be proctored at an ABE program if you are under the age of 19. By attending our GED® preparation program, you increase your potential to pass the exam. Prepare online, get 1:1 help during independent study time, or attend a small group.

Adult Diploma--Credit Recovery and Minnesota State Diploma

Credit Recovery is for anyone 18 and older, whose class has graduated, who would like to complete the courses required to earn their high school diploma.

Minnesota State Diploma is a competency based diploma for anyone age 19 and older in which a learner may choose from several options that would demonstrate competency in the areas of Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and Digital Literacy/Employability & Career Pathway. The diploma is awarded by the Minnesota Dept of Education.

Additional eligibility requirements for both options will be discussed during an intake session.

Earn the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate

The Northstar Digital Literacy Project provides job seekers with certificates in recognition of their digital literacy skills. More than 50 sites across Minnesota (along with two sites in Illinois and California) proctor assessments for certificates in:

  • Basic computer skills
  • Email
  • Mac OS X
  • Microsoft Word
  • Windows
  • World Wide Web

These foundational skills are required to use computers and the Internet for academic work, job search, and an increasing deep list of administrative life tasks: banking, paying bills, applying for assistance programs, accessing healthcare information, and changing immigration status. All staff at Elk River ABE program are certified proctors for the exams for the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate. Call to make an appointment to learn these computer skills and earn this certificate.

Contact Us!

Site Coordinator: Sherry Smith
763-241-3400 x 5525

Elk River Learning Lab Location:
Handke Center
1170 Main Street
Elk River, MN

FREE individualized instruction:

  • Basic skills review in math, writing and reading
  • College preparation
  • Job preparation
  • Basic computer skills
  • GED
  • Adult High School Diploma