Choosing the right course for your ESL needs depends on your goals.

NSCC offers two types of courses: credit classes for academic studies and noncredit classes to improve basic communication skills.

How to choose the type of course right for you:

Do I want a college level degree or certificate?

Typically, if you want a degree or certificate and initially place into credit level ESL this is your quickest route to achieving your goal. Credit level ESL is designed to prepare you with the academic skills in English to be successful in college level courses.

Do I want to improve my English skills for my current job or to help me better communicate in everyday life?

If you are looking to improve English skills for your job or everyday living, such as helping your child with their homework, talking with your neighbors, or using your English skills at your local restaurant or store, noncredit ESL will help you build basic English skills. Classes are available in shorter time frames.

Do I want to improve my English skills for academic purposes?

Credit ESL courses may be your best option to start your studies at NSCC if you are looking to advance your English skills for writing research papers, annotating textbooks and familiarizing yourself with high interest topics in the English language and American culture.

What do courses prepare me for?

Credit ESL courses

Credit ESL courses focus on teaching students the skills necessary to succeed in an academic program. Classes prepare students to use college textbooks, discuss high-interest topics, write academic papers, and acquire the communication skills needed for specialized academic programs of study. Credit ESL courses lead to college majors and certificate programs.

ESL credit courses lead to college majors and certificate programs

Noncredit ESL classes

Noncredit ESL classes help you improve your English to advance in your job, gain confidence in your everyday communication or start to prepare you for college. Noncredit course help you practice your listening, speaking, reading, grammar, and writing skills. There are many levels of classes for students, beginning with classes for those with little or no English language knowledge and classes for those with advanced skills.

noncredit ESL lead to certificates and industry credentials

Noncredit courses lead to careers with industry certifications or credentials, to the credit ESL program, and then onto to academic credit program pathways.

noncredit courses can lead to credit courses and then to programs and certificates

What are my payment options for ESL courses?

Credit ESL courses

Tuition and fees can be paid directly out-of-pocket, through installment plans, and is eligible for financial aid. You may also be eligible for scholarships if you choose credit ESL courses.  

Noncredit ESL

Noncredit course fees can be paid directly out-of-pocket or in installment plans.  Noncredit courses are not eligible for financial aid but they are eligible for Section 30 support.

What if I have a degree in another country? 

If you already have a credential in another country you should make sure to have it evaluated. Some degrees acquired in other countries can be accepted in the United States, others may not be due to licensure and regulations in certain career pathways.

If you want a different credit credential or a different degree or would like to use credit for prior learning to earn a similar degree at NSCC to the one you hold in a different country, you will likely want to take the ESL credit track

What are resources and supports?

All students have access to the full range of college supports, including academic advising, the language learning lab, tutoring, crisis counseling, full access to library resources, TRIO, and Accessibility Services.

Where do I take my Accuplacer placement test to see what classes I meet the prerequisites for?

Danvers Campus
Room DB213
1 Ferncroft Road, Danvers, MA 01923

Lynn Campus
Room LS215
300 Broad St, Lynn, MA 01901

Testing Center Hours>

ESL Reading Sample Test >
ESL Writing Sample Test >

What do I do if I have questions about my ESL Accuplacer placement testing?

Email onramp@northshore.edu or call (781) 593-6722 x6658

Are there alternatives to the ESL Accuplacer that I could use to determine my placement?  If so, what are they?

Students who have graduated from a U.S. high school within the last 10 years may be eligible for placement based on their high school gpa. Students with a cumulative high school GPA of 2.7 or above, may be eligible for a testing exemption.

Email onramp@northshore.edu or call (781) 593-6722 x6658 if you meet these criteria.

Hours of instruction

Credit ESL courses

Day and evening courses are held on the Lynn Campus.

Noncredit ESL courses

Day and evening courses are held on the Lynn and Danvers Campuses. Classes varies by semester.

Contact for more information on ESL courses

Credit ESL courses

For any questions about credit ESL, please contact onramp@northshore.edu

Noncredit ESL courses

For any questions about noncredit ESL, please contact professional@northshore.edu or to register call (978) 236-1200.