People often think of education as something that happens in elementary and high schools; however, adult education is also important. Formal education can continue throughout one’s whole life. There are many adult education opportunities available that provide continuing education for people aged 18 and above. The adult education programs are widely varied and offer different advantages and disadvantages. Below, you will find descriptions of some common adult education alternatives.
College is, perhaps, the most traditional form of adult education. When high school seniors graduate from high school many of them continue on to college for the first 2-4 years of their early adulthood. Some stay longer and get graduate degrees. Other adult students take time off before entering college. There is no maximum age of enrollment and colleges and universities are often lifelong places for adult learning.
Many professions including the medical, nursing, legal and accounting fields require licensed professionals to take continuing education courses for the duration of their career. These kind of adult education programs are designed to make sure that people stay up to date in their profession and to make sure that the people relying on this profession benefit from the latest trends, research and benefits.
Adult Education: Online Courses
There are many different adult education courses that are offered over the internet. Some of the courses are single session courses that teach a concept or skill in just a few hours. Typically, college credit is not earned form these type of courses. However, the courses might count for continuing education requirements or to satisfy the interest of the adult learner.
Adult Education Programs: High School Degree or GED
Adult secondary education programs are meant for people age 16 and older who have not completed high school. There are three common types of adult secondary education programs including:
• GED programs: passing the General Educational Development (GED) Test is supposed to be the equivalent of earning a traditional high school diploma.
• National External Diploma Programs: this is assessment program that can award high school diplomas to adults who have acquired the knowledge usually gained through high school through real life experiences. How e-learning can benefit your child.
• Adult High School Credit Diploma Programs: the requirements of these programs are typically very similar to the requirements of traditional high school diplomas. Usually the only difference is that the classes meet at night and most of the students are adults.
In today’s society it is imperative that people have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. It is almost impossible to get any type of legitimate work without it. Of course, getting a diploma with the rest of your class at age 17 or 18 is not always possible for every student. Sometimes life emergencies happen and you must quit school and go to work in order to support the family. Sometimes, we make bad decisions about quitting school when we’re young and come to regret it later. No matter what the reason, options exist for adults to get their high school diploma or GED.
Community Education Programs
Many towns and community groups offer continuing community education opportunities through the local school board, senior center or community center. Some of these courses are academic in nature and some offer to teach adults a new skill such as quilting, cooking or wine tasting.
There are many different types of adult learning programs to satisfy the diverse types of adult learners. While some adult learners are getting advanced degrees, others are working on finishing the degree that they started decades earlier. While some are taking continuing education classes to satisfy the requirements of their profession, others are taking community classes to pick up a new hobby.
All of these adult education alternatives are useful and important. Humans have a natural desire to learn and the different adult education programs that are available mean that there is something to satisfy everyone’s needs and everyone’s interests. Adult learning classes also help adults learn the latest trends in their industry and how to use the latest technological advances to make their work easier. These are benefits that are passed along to their patients, their customers and their clients when they begin to apply what they learned in adult education to their daily work.
5 Benefits of Attending a Community College
High school guidance counselors and parents often encourage students to attend a four year college of university rather than a community college. Community colleges are often seen as an inferior system of education that should be used only as a last resort. However, that view is not always accurate.
Community colleges are two year schools that usually offer students an associate degree. While it is true that, on average, a person with a bachelor degree from a four year college will earn more than a person with an associate degree from a two year college, community college does not prevent a person from finishing a bachelor’s degree in 4 years. In fact, there are many benefits to attending a community college and earning an associate degree that are often overlooked. Participation in sports in college should not be overlooked.
1. Save Money
One of the biggest benefits of attending a community college is that you can save a significant amount of money. Tuition is usually much less expensive than even a public 4 year college or university. Also, it is usually possible to live at home rather than in a dorm or rented apartment since there is likely to be a community college nearby. Community college schedules are also structured in way that allows students to work full time and to be full time students. If the class schedule at the local community college does not fit in with your work schedule you can always pursue distance education courses to earn your associate degree and those programs may provide you with even more scheduling flexibility.
2. Make Connections
By staying in the community to attend school, you will likely make contacts in your community. If you want to stay in the area after graduation then this is invaluable. It will allow you to meet local mentors in your field and to have internships at local companies. These personal connections are likely to be a significant asset to you when you begin your job search, even if you decide to pursue a four year degree in another part of the country after you complete your two year associate degree.
3. Flexible Scheduling
Community colleges typically offer lots of nighttime and some weekend classes. If you work full time because you are returning to school after being in the workforce for a while or if you need to work full time this can be a compelling reason to attend a community college. The array of classes that are offered on nights and weekends may allow you to finish your degree faster than at a school without many night and weekend options.
Flexible scheduling is also important for students who are parents so that they can arrange their classes around their family obligations. Many community colleges do have daycare options to allow parents maximum flexibility.
4. Start at a Community College and Transfer to a 4 Year School
There are many benefits to beginning your education at a community college or junior college and then transferring to a 4 year college or university. Not only will the total cost of your education be lower because you saved significant amounts of money during your first two years but you may also have better study habits and a better idea of what you want to do with your life than you did as a high school senior. Further, you will be able to improve your GPA during your first two years at a community college and that might enable you to go to a more prestigious college or university. Tips to ace the college admissions process
5. You Aren’t Ready to Commit
At age 18, when most people graduate from high school, some people are not ready to commit to a college or to a future career path. The options seem endless and it can be hard to decide what to do. For those students, a 4 year college or university is an expensive way to find themselves. They may be better off trying a variety of courses at a community college in order to decide what they want to do.
Very often, community colleges conjure up images of troubled students who could not make it at traditional 4 year colleges or universities. However, that image is outdated, if it was ever true in the first place. Today, community colleges offer many benefits for many students and can be a very positive first step in post high school education.