Noncredit Courses and Certificates

Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Recognizing the role of the community college in the area of adult education, College of the Desert makes available noncredit courses for development of necessary skills and knowledge in Adult Basic Education (reading, writing, and math), Adult High School Diploma, and preparation for the General Education Development (GED) Test. No enrollment fees are charged to students taking adult education courses.

Many courses are offered on an open-entry, open-exit basis. In addition to regular class offerings, emphasis is placed on self-paced, independent, student-centered learning.

Students interested in completing Adult Basic Education courses may begin the process by completing the Admission Application available online from the College of the Desert website.

Steps to Enrollment:

  1. Complete the online Admission Application (available with Spanish translation only), or visit the Admissions & Records Office.
  2. Reference the Admissions/Adult Basic Education webpage or call (760) 776-7348 to ascertain next steps in preparation of enrolling.
  3. Register
  4. Pay fees.

Instruction is provided in the following areas:

Basic Skills

Basic Skills is the study of reading, writing, and math. It is designed for adults to learn these skills. Basic Skills students will be better prepared to pursue further education, including GED and High School Completion, or pursue employment opportunities. Students may earn the following certificates of completion:

  • Certificate in Reading Completion
  • Certificate in Basic Math Completion
  • Certificate in Advanced Math Completion
  • Certificate in Basic English Completion
  • Certificate in Advanced English Completion

General Education Development Test (GED)

General Education Development (GED) is the study of social studies, math, reading, writing, and science. Students completing this course of study will be better prepared to take the GED test. The GED certificate (Certificate of Completion in Secondary Education/GED) is an alternative to a high school diploma and is accepted by many employers, community colleges, vocational training programs, and governmental agencies. For more information, please call (760) 776-7348.

High School Completion/Diploma

High School Completion is the study of subjects required to obtain a high school diploma. Students completing their required coursework and passing the proficiency exams will receive an Adult High School Diploma issued by College of the Desert. For more information, please call (760) 776-7348.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Noncredit Program

The Noncredit ESL program is an intensive series of multi-skill courses which meet the needs of students not fluent in English.

Classes are open-entry, thereby allowing students to register throughout the school year up until the 10th week of primary term. Classes are held day and evening at Palm Desert and various campus sites.

All persons 18 years of age and older regardless of their educational background are welcome to enroll in this program.

Steps to Enrollment:

  1. Complete the online Admission Application (available with Spanish translation only), or visit the Admissions & Records Office.
  2. Make an appointment to take the English as a Second Language Placement Test.
  3. Register
  4. Pay fees

ESLN offers the following noncredit certificates of completion:

  • English Proficiency Certificate: Life & Work Skills
  • Academic English Certificate
  • Vocational ESLN Certificate of Completion

Please refer to the sequence of noncredit ESL courses required for these certificates (English as a Second Language Programs). For more information or assistance, please reference the Admissions/Adult Basic Education webpage, or call (760) 776-7348.

Other Noncredit Certificate Programs 

Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Competency programs are noncredit career development programs. These programs provide vocational training in focused areas and do not appear on the transcript. 

A noncredit Certificate of Competency means a document confirming that a student enrolled in a noncredit educational program of noncredit courses has demonstrated achievement in a set of competencies that prepares students to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or non degree-applicable credit courses. 

A noncredit Certificate of Completion means a document confirming that a student has completed a noncredit educational program of noncredit courses that prepares students to progress in a career path or to take degree-applicable credit courses.

The following are other noncredit certificates offered at College of the Desert. Please refer to the programs pages of the catalog for detailed information on a particular program.

  1. Applied Construction Technology
    1. Construction Technology Career Preparation
    2. Construction Technology Concrete and Masonry
    3. Construction Technology Drywall Installation and Finish
    4. Construction Technology Electrical
    5. Construction Technology Exterior Finishes
    6. Construction Technology Finish Carpentry
    7. Construction Technology Framing
    8. Construction Technology Introduction
    9. Construction Technology Plumbing
    10. Construction Technology Site Preparation and Layout
  2. Automotive Technology
    1. Automotive Quick Service
    2. Automotive Terminology
    3. Compressed Natural Gas Essentials
    4. Compressed Natural Gas Inspection
    5. Compressed Natural Gas Installation
  3. Building Energy Systems Professional
    1. Air Properties and Economizer Performance
    2. Proper HVAC System Preparation and System Charging
    3. Refrigerant Management and EPA-608 Preparation
    4. Residential Solar Installation
    5. Residential Solar Surveying & Planning
    6. Solar Battery Storage Installation & Maintenance
    7. Solar Site Planning Project
  4. Building Inspection Technology
    1. California Building Codes
    2. California Building/Fire Codes
    3. California Electrical Codes
    4. California Energy Codes
    5. California Mechanical Codes
    6. California Plumbing Codes
    7. California Residential Codes
  5. Counseling
    1. Career Exploration and Readiness
  6. Culinary Arts
    1. Baker
    2. Bread Baker
    3. Culinary Menu Planning
    4. Culinary Procurement and Cost Control
    5. Culinary Safety Sanitation
    6. Prep Cook
  7. Digital Design and Production
    1. Digital Imaging
  8. Emergency Medical Technology
    1. Emergency Medical Services
  9. English
    1. Language and Thought
    2. Organization
    3. Research & Argument
    4. Sentence
  10. English as a Second Language
    1. Advanced Academic English as a Second Language (ESLN)
  11. Kinesiology
    1. Advanced First Aid and Safety, CPR/AED
    2. Lifeguard Training
    3. Water Safety Instructor
  12. Mathematics
    1. Integers
    2. Rational Numbers
    3. Whole Numbers
  13. Natural Resources
    1. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Essentials
  14. Using Employability/Soft Skills to Create Pathways 
    1. New World of Work Adaptability
    2. New World of Work Analysis/Solution Mindset
    3. New World of Work Collaboration on the Job
    4. New World of Work Communication on the Job
    5. New World of Work Digital Fluency
    6. New World of Work Empathy on the Job
    7. New World of Work Entrepreneurial Mindset
    8. New World of Work Resilience on the Job
    9. New World of Work Self-Awareness
    10. New World of Work Social Diversity Awareness