To solve the problems of susceptibility to image noise, subjectivity of training sample selection, and inefficiency of state-of-the-art change detection methods with heterogeneous images, this study proposes a post-classification change detection method for heterogeneous images with improved training of hierarchical extreme learning machine (HELM). After smoothing the images to suppress noise, a sample selection method is defined to train the HELM for each image, in which the feature extraction is respectively implemented for heterogeneous images and the parameters need not be fine-tuned. Then, the multi-temporal feature maps extracted from the trained HELM are segmented to obtain classification maps and then compared to generate a change map with changed types. The proposed method is validated experimentally by using one set of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images obtained from Sentinel-1, one set of optical images acquired from Google Earth, and two sets of heterogeneous SAR and optical images. The results show that compared to state-of-the-art change detection methods, the proposed method can improve the accuracy of change detection by more than 8% in terms of the kappa coefficient and greatly reduce run time regardless of the type of images used. Such enhancement reflects the robustness and superiority of the proposed method.