MCC Adult Education and Literacy: Free classes to help adults develop job skills

By Olivia Evans

More and more jobs are requiring a technical certificate or a college degree. To meet the demands for a more skilled workforce, McLennan Community College offers a variety of classes and programs to help adults in the Waco community develop skills to match the jobs available in the area. These free classes served over 900 adult students in the 2019-20 academic year. MCC’s Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program offers various pathways and classes including:

  • High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation Classes (formerly GED) improve basic skills in preparation for the High School Equivalency Test.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes equip English language learners with the skills needed to advance in their careers and participate fully in their communities.
  • Transition Classes help students improve their workplace and/or college preparedness skills.
  • Career Pathway Classes provide college and workplace readiness in an in-demand career field.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AEL program has continued its commitment to help the Waco community achieve their educational and career goals by making swift changes to adjust to the new circumstances. “Within three weeks, our small staff completely switched to remote classes using the Zoom platform,” said AEL Instructor Margie De Laurell.

Currently, all 30 classes offered are held virtually. Despite these unprecedented times, the AEL staff is dedicated to ensuring that individuals in Waco, who are looking to advance themselves in their careers and education, are able to do so. Student success includes adjustments and additional learning not just from students but from instructors as well. “English-language learners and many of our instructors learned how to use their devices like never before! Digital literacy has always been part of the curriculum, but thanks to the pandemic, we all got a crash course,” said De Laurell.

AEL classes are free and open to anyone over the age of 18. There is no cost to community members other than time and dedication. All of the AEL students are extremely hardworking and exemplify the work ethic and positive mental outlook that is required to succeed under very challenging circumstances, including a global pandemic.

“As instructors, we are constantly inspired and motivated by our learners’ perseverance, courage, and resourcefulness,” said De Laurell.

For more information about registration AEL programs, call (254) 299-8777 or visit www.mclennan.edu/adult-education-programs/.


Olivia Evans is an intern in McLennan Community College’s Marketing and Communications office. She is a senior at Baylor University studying Public Relations and Corporate Communications. Olivia is a Houston, Texas native and plans to work in sports and entertainment digital marketing.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.orgfor more information.

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