Adult Education / HiSET / ESL

Whether it is for a personal or career-oriented reason, Iowa Western’s Adult Literacy program can help. Available services include HiSET preparation, career advising, review of reading, writing, and math, HiSET Academy, specific skills training such as keyboarding or using measurements and survival English for English as a Second Language (ESL) students.

The student is assessed in Reading and Math. After discussion and consultation, student is assigned a class to attend that will best meet his/her needs.

Iowa Western serves a seven county area and provides Adult Education &  Literacy services at a number of locations throughout. See the class schedule for days and times at the Atlantic, Shenandoah, Clarinda and Harlan IWCC Centers as well as the Adult Learning Center in Council Bluffs.

A $25 registration fee is due at the time of registration. This fee is valid through June 30.

Redefine your success. Earn your High School Equivalency Diploma.

Iowa Western offers preparation courses and exam opportunities for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). Formerly known as the GED, the HiSET is an exam that adults can complete to earn the equivalent to a high school diploma.

Our staff will be with you every step of the way, providing guidance and support. Preparation courses are available at each of our five campus locations – just choose the campus and course times that fit your schedule.

Class Schedule

Atlantic HiSET: 712.243.5527
Registration beings August 19 and runs for 14 weeks.
Tuesday: 5-8 pm
Wednesday: 9-noon
Thursday: 9-noon & 5-8 pm

Clarinda HiSET: 712.542.5117
Registration begins August 19 and runs for 14 weeks.
Monday:  5-7 pm
Tuesday:  8:30-11:30 am & 5-7 pm
Thursday: 8:30-11:30 am & 5-7 pm

Harlan HiSET: 712.755.3568
Registration begins August 19 and runs for 14 weeks.
Tuesday: 1-4 pm
Wednesday: 5-8 pm
Thursday: 1-4 pm & 5-8 pm

Shenandoah HiSET: 712.246.1499
Registration begins August 19 and runs for 14 weeks.
Tuesday: 1-4 pm & 5-8 pm 
Wednesday: 1-4 pm & 5-8 pm

Council Bluffs Campus: 712.325.3266
Adult Education & Literacy Schedule
IWCC Campus, Kinney Hall (top floor)

Bi-weekly orientations! Morning and evening classes available!

Summer Session: July 22 – August 29

HiSET Career Week: September 4-6
HiSET Class: September 9 – October 24

HiSET Career Week: October 29-31
HiSET Class: November 4 – December 19

HiSET Career Week: January 7-9
HiSET Class: January 13 – February 27

HiSET Career Week: March 3-5
HiSET Class: March 9 – April 23

Adult Education Services


Tutoring is arranged for the student in the beginning stages of reading. The student will be assessed and results, as well as student goals, will be discussed. Refer someone you know who might benefit from tutoring instruction. 

English As A Second Language (ESL)

Instruction is available for students who are learning to speak, read, and write English. Contact your nearest IWCC Center for information regarding classes or individualized instruction. Refer a friend or share this information with someone who is interested in attending ESL classes.  

Basic Skills

Iowa Western assists adults who seek to improve their skills in reading, writing, and math. Adults can register for general instruction or specific skills programming directed towards specific outcomes, such as job-related keyboarding or refreshing math and writing skills..

HiSET Preparation

For those who have not completed their high school education, instruction is available in preparing for the five HiSET tests: Language Arts-Writing, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, and Language Arts-Reading. You may prepare for the exams by attending classes at one of our sites. Studying online through Essential Education’s HiSET Academy is an option to consider. Call the Council Bluffs Learning Center for more details.


Iowa Western administers HiSET testing, by appointment, at the various test sites in the region. Instructors will assist students in creating an account and advising which test to register for.  

Note: Students must have instructor approval to test (Verification form is required for Examiner). 

Volunteer Program

If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer to work with adult students on improving their reading skills or learning to speak, read and/or write English, please contact us at 800.432.5852, ext. 3266 or 712.325.3266. Volunteers may choose to give extra time and attention to students who attend regular classes or they may schedule individual sessions in Council Bluffs or another setting in Iowa Western’s seven-county service area.

Continuing Education Adult Basic Education & HiSET FAQ’s

HiSET stands for High School Equivalency Test(s). HiSET is Iowa’s new high school equivalency testing program. Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Iowa Testing Programs recently created the HiSET program to provide you with an affordable, accessible alternative to other high school equivalency tests. It’s another way for you to get the credentials you need to continue your education or to succeed in the workplace.
Iowa Western Community College has certified HiSET Examiners who administer the computer-based exams. Adjunct instructors provide instruction in Council Bluffs, Harlan, Atlantic, Clarinda and Shenandoah.
Persons seeking to meet the Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma requirements should be aware of companies that claim to offer a High School Equivalency program over the internet or through correspondence courses. Although testing for the HiSET is computer-based, the tests can only be accessed at a recognized Iowa Community College testing site where certified HiSET Examiners will administer the test(s). There is an online option for students to study and prepare for the HiSET tests. Reading and math scores must fall within the eligibility range to qualify for this program. Call the Adult Learning Center at 712.325.3266 for further details.
You register for the HiSET preparation program at the IWCC Adult Learning Center located on the IWCC campus, in Kinney Hall, or at one of the preparation sites listed. You may be required to schedule an appointment to register or asked to come at a specific time. It would be a good idea to call the location you would like to attend classes at and ask about the registration procedure. During registration, you will fill out a few forms and hear about the program’s expectations as well as what opportunities are available to you in your pursuit of furthering your education. There is a $25.00 dollar registration fee due at the time of registration. This fee is good through June 30th. Your registration process will be complete once you have completed the Reading and Math assessments. The following locations provide HiSET instruction:

~ Council Bluffs, IWCC campus and IowaWorks office (OMNI Centre)
~ Harlan, IWCC Shelby County Center
~ Atlantic, IIWCC Cass County Center
~ Clarinda, Clarinda Campus
~ Shenandoah, IWCC Page/Fremont Center
All students must demonstrate that they are prepared to take and pass the HiSET tests. This is done by taking a variety of assessments and a final Official Practice Test (OPT) for each subject with a targeted score as a goal. The score on this OPT determines whether you are ready to go in and take the real HiSET. It is difficult to predict how much time you will need to prepare for testing because the amount of time each student needs and has available for successful review work, varies considerably. Your success depends on your learning abilities, your study habits, your motivation, and how consistently you attend class.
Exams are offered year-round. Days and times at these sites vary. Students will be able to select the location and time that best meets their needs but will need to be enrolled in and working with a program where details on registering and scheduling to test through Educational Testing Services (ETS) will be provided.
You will need the completed Verification Form, provided by the program in which you prepared to test. You will also need a valid, government-issued photo ID (Driver’s License, etc.).
Tests are schedule individually and the cost is $10.75 per test – this includes (2) free retests for each subject. You will need to pay with a debit or credit card. If an outside agency is paying for your test fee, they can purchase a testing voucher from the IWCC Bookstore for the price of $55.25. You will need to provide your agency contact name and phone/email so directions can be sent on how to purchase a voucher for you.
One year from the date of your first test (if using the 5-test voucher). Scores will remain valid through December, 2017.
8 out of 20 is the minimum passing score for each individual test but you need a total of 45 points (out of 100) to earn your High School Equivalency Diploma. Your individual test score report also indicates whether or not you have achieved the score required to demonstrate college and career readiness (shows a level of performance similar to the minimum level required to succeed in college-level credit-bearing courses).
Our graduation ceremony is usually held in May at the Iowa Western Community College main campus. Everyone who successfully completes the HiSET battery, is invited to attend the ceremony. Friends and family are welcome to attend. If you finish after the ceremony in a given year, you will be invited to attend the following year’s ceremony.
Students will be able to order a transcript and diploma by going to . An official transcript will be mailed with the high school equivalency diploma the first time a student submits a request. The cost is $15 payable by a debit or credit card.