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Download and save to your device, complete forms, attach and email to
[email protected] OR we will meet with you to complete in person.

GED Spotlight

Meet Our Staff

Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 9:00 to Noon or 6:00 to 9:00.  

Reading and Math Only classes are: Tuesday & Thursday 1:00 to 3:00


Rend Lake College’s Skills Center provides adult education services in the Rend Lake College district. The program provides relevant and accessible educational opportunities for adult learners to help them succeed at work, home and in their communities. The program curriculum is designed to integrate instruction of basic skills in reading, writing and math; with life skills, parenting skills and workforce preparation skills.


The Skills Center programs prepare students for the HSE (high school equivalency) tests and help students develop their skills in basic reading, math and job readiness. For more information, call (618) 437-5321 or toll-free at (800) 369-5321, Ext. 1241 / 1244 / 1220, or email [email protected].


Can't make it to in-person classes? Not a problem!

Rend Lake College offers virtual classes that allow students to learn and interact with teachers and other students. 

Classes are available on the following days:
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm or 
Monday-Thursday: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

For those who are interested but don't have internet or a computer at home, the local libraries listed below have study spaces, tablets, WIFI, and other materials to get you ready for class. 
Local Libraries Include: Benton, Mount Vernon, Wayne City, Sesser, and McLeansboro

For more information about virtual classes, contact us at 618-437-5321 ext 1241.



Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE)

All students enrolling in a Skills Center class must take the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) in reading and math. The TABE results give an indication of a student’s grade level equivalency (GLE). The TABE also provides a detailed report about the skills each student needs to improve. Using this report instructors can develop a learning plan that will move students through classes as quickly as possible.



High School Equivalency (GED)

Eligibility - No high school diploma/GED or Below 9th grade in reading or math. Students with a high school diploma can enroll to brush up on academic skills before enrolling in college or to advance in the workforce

Two Levels: Reading/language Arts Only or Math Only


ABE Reading/Language Arts – reading between 4th and 9th grades

ASE Reading/Language Arts – reading between 9th and 12 grades

ABE Math – math between 6th and 9th grades

ASE Math – math between 9th and 12 grades

Students can enroll in these classes if they only need to study math or reading to pass a GED test or if they want to increase their skills in these subjects.


Bridge: Healthcare/Information Technology/Manufacturing

Eligibility: Reading or math between 6th and 9th grades


ICAPS: Phlebotomy/Welding/Machining/IT

Eligibility: Reading or math between 9th and 12th grades

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Class Locations

Skills Center classes are offered at the following locations. Class schedules (day or evening), vary from location to location. Contact a member of the Skills Center team for enrollment information at a location near you.

Benton/West City Ministerial Alliance
302 S Main Street
Benton, IL

Rend Lake College MarketPlace
Suite B
327 Potomac Blvd.
Mount Vernon, IL

Rend Lake College Main Campus
468 N Ken Gray Pkwy
Ina, IL 62846

Online classes also availablebuttonsign me up

Adult Basic Education

Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses are designed to help students gain basic knowledge in educational content areas. As the students progress to the intermediate level ABE classes they will increase and advance their knowledge of the material. The subject areas are taught with an emphasis on adult applications. Placement is determined using the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) assessment.

ABE classes include:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Writing
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Computer skills

    Classes are conveniently scheduled throughout the Rend Lake College District in Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton and Perry counties. Both day and evening classes are available.

Helpful Site:

For more information:

Rend Lake College Adult Education and Family Literacy
468 N. Ken Gray Pkwy Ina , IL 62846

(618) 437-5321, Ext. 1241 or Ext. 1244
Toll-free (In-District) 1-800-369-5321
e-mail: [email protected]buttonsign me up

High School Equivalency Classes

HSE (formerly known as GED) classes help students prepare for the HSE Tests to earn their high school equivalency diploma. Students will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills while studying the subject areas covered on the HSE Tests. 

The HSE (formerly known as GED) test is comprised of four subjects: math, science, social studies, and language arts. Each exam tests a student’s knowledge of topics covered in a typical high school classroom, from history and government to life science and algebra. Exams are taken on a computer in a GED test center or proctored remotely. The exams have a variety of answer formats, such as multiple choice, short answer, and fill-in-the-blank.

How long does it take to get a GED?

The time it takes to earn a GED can vary based on the last grade a student completed and how recently he or she attended school. The Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) assessment is used to determine appropriate placement in HSE classes. However, attending classes regularly and studying 3-4 times a week can help students become GED ready. 

HSE: The Exams

• The entire test will include four modules: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies.

  • Reasoning through Language Arts

    • Students should be familiar with reading and writing concepts, along with grammar. Students need to read and understand test passages, demonstrate that you can write clearly, and draw conclusions.

    • Topics:

      Reading for Meaning
      Identifying and Creating Arguments
      Grammar and Language

      Time to take the test: 150 minutes

    • Rather than give an opinion or personal perspective in a 5-parapgraph essay, test takers will write a response that requires reference and analysis of given text.

  • Mathematical Reasoning

    • Students should be familiar with arithmetic and math concepts, measurements, equations, and applying math concepts to solve real-life problems.
    • Topics:

      Basic Math
      Basic Algebra
      Graphs and Functions

      Time to take the test: 115 minutes

    • Over half of the Mathematical Reasoning test will assess algebraic problem solving.
  • Science

    • Students need to understand science concepts, use logic and reasoning to interpret information, and draw conclusions (which is using critical thinking skills in science)
    • Topics:

      Reading for Meaning in Science
      Designing and Interpreting Science Experiments
      Using Numbers and Graphics in Science

      Time (to take the test): 90 minutes

  • Social Studies

    • Students should be familiar with basic social studies concepts, but are not expected to have in-depth knowledge of each topic.

    • Topics:

      Reading for Meaning
      Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments
      Using Numbers and Graphs

      Time (to take the test): 70 minutes

Two performance levels will be assessed: a high school equivalence and a higher level intending to demonstrate college and career readiness.

• Prior knowledge will be assessed.

• The test will be completely computer based.

• All tests will be computer scored giving detailed feedback about strengths and areas in need of development.

• Scores will be delivered to test takers through the individual online account created during registration.

• Scores will range from 100 to 200. The high school equivalency passing score will be 145 on each test, meaning a score of at least 580 will be needed to earn an HSE diploma.

• Registration will be available online 24 hours a day and will be done from any computer with internet access.

• The cost for all four modules is $120 with a $10 certificate fee. Each retake will cost $30.

• Registration fees must be paid by credit card or voucher and will adhere to a 24-hour cancellation policy.

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Through the Integrated Career and Academic System (ICAPS), students work to complete their GED and are co-enrolled in credit career and technical education (CTE) courses through an integrated instructional model. It supplemented by support courses and comprehensive student support services. It also includes team teaching with the CTE and Skills Center instructors. The model provides career pathway/employment opportunities for students while enabling transition into additional postsecondary certificate/degree programs or the workforce.

The Skills Center offers ICAPS in four pathways:



Students in the Phlebotomy program will learn techniques, procedures and issues pertaining to the proper collection of blood specimens for routine clinical laboratory testing. Clinical experiences will give students the chance to use what they have learned in direct care situations.

Employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and other locations will need phlebotomists to perform bloodwork. The median annual wage for phlebotomists was $35,510 in May 2019.

Welding Fundamentals


Welding programs are designed to provide the student with a wide range of welding experiences. Programs will cover welding theory, blueprint reading, metallurgy and inspection and test procedures. There will be extensive laboratory practice in SMAW, GMAW, GTAW and oxy-acetylene welding processes. The student will learn to weld with electrodes and wires in all positions common to the welding industry. Program completers will have adequate skills to qualify for employment as a welder.

The nation’s aging infrastructure will require the expertise of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to help rebuild bridges, highways, and buildings. The median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $42,490 in May 2019.

Basic Machining


This certificate is for those students who are seeking to improve their skills for the machining industry. Students will learn the fundamentals of machining using lathes and milling machining. The fundamentals of setting up the machine, selecting the correct tool, adjusting tool speed, determining depth of cut, and the use of precision measuring tools will be covered.

Employment of machinists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. With improvements in technologies, such as computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools, autoloaders, high-speed machining, and lights-out manufacturing, machinists will still be required to set up, monitor, and maintain these systems. The median annual wage for machinists was $44,420 in May 2019.

IT Support Professional


This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of IT support. Topics include troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, and security. The instructional content prepares students for industry-recognized credentials including Google IT Support professional and CompTIA A+.

Employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. More support services will be needed as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software. Computer support staff will be needed to respond to the installation and repair requirements of increasingly complex computer equipment and software. The median annual wage for computer user support specialists was $52,270 in May 2019.

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Bridge Program

The Skills Center Bridge classes provide students with the opportunity to improve their intermediate skills in reading, writing, numeracy, technology skills, and oral communication while exploring careers in healthcare, manufacturing, or information technology.

Instruction includes an introduction to Career Pathways, development of career plans, career awareness, career exploration, job readiness skills, Illinois Essential Employability Skills, exploration of Illinois WorkNet, and introduction of career cluster knowledge.

A student who meets some or all of the following may wish to enroll in either the healthcare, manufacturing or information technology Bridge program:

  • A desire to obtain a GED
  • An interest in exploring the health care or manufacturing fields
  • A wish to experience the college atmosphere
  • An interest in meeting with other college departments and programs to help with their needs and goals
  • Want to receive valuable information to assist in career exploration

Transition services provide students with the information and assistance they need successfully navigate moving from adult education coursework to credit, occupational programs or apprenticeships. Services may include (as needed and available) academic advising, study skills, coaching, and referrals to individual support services (e.g., transportation and childcare).

The Bridge program is the first step in exploring these fields. For more information, fill out the form below or contact the Adult Education Department at Ext. 1241 or at [email protected].buttonsign me up

GED Testing Scholarship

Need Help Paying for GED Test?

GED® Testing Fee Scholarship Application Guidelines

  1. In order to be eligible to apply students must:
  • Be currently enrolled in a Rend Lake College Adult Education class
  • Meet the attendance and class Code of Conduct policy
  • Pass the GED Ready® practice test a minimum score of 145 (Likely to Pass)
  • Have the recommendation of his/her teacher
  • Accurately complete the application form
  1. Completed forms should be emailed to Vickie Golliher at [email protected]
  1. Final approval for payment of GED Tests will be decided by the administration team of the RLC Adult Education Program
  1. Vickie Golliher will forward approved applications to the RLC Foundation office who will provide a test voucher for the student
  1. RLC Adult Education has the right to deny or refuse any application

Please click here to complete application