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What is Adult and Continuing Education?

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The term adult education refers to the field of educating adults and this is done in a certain office where the adults work in, an extension school, an institution for continuing studies, community colleges, libraries, training centers, and folk high schools. This type of field is different from vocational learning as they are more of a formal learning program which aims to provide an adult the necessities, desires and learning skills required of him. Those who avail of these programs do not necessarily have to be college graduates.

Adult education can be in the form of trainings and seminars and these help enhance their work performance. Trainings will educate them of how to conduct office work and activities while seminars and conference are designed to give further knowledge on a particular subject. This will improve the marketability of adults as they have acquired new skills which employers want from their workers. With added skills, better pay also awaits them. With more qualifications, promotions to mid-level or higher management positions are attainable.

There are also adult education programs that will help adults improve their family lives. Such programs include how to train a child, how to cure sicknesses with home remedies, how to communicate with a partner and how to establish a home business. These types of seminars will help in developing the kind of lives adults lead.

Education programs for adults will also help cultivate the personal lives of people. An employee for example can take post-graduate courses for promotion or teaching purposes. A foreigner working in the United States can take courses in the English language so that he or she would be able to understand and communicate with the people in his workplace and in his surroundings.

Continuing education is similar to education program for adults but the difference is the former deals with acquiring additional credits or certifications for both professional and personal enhancement and it is offered to college graduates. It also provides professionals the chance to deepen their knowledge and acquire new skills for their professional lives. There are many opportunities for continuing education and these can be found either online or in a classroom setup. It is usually provided by offices, organizations, businesses, and schools.

Workshops, seminars, trainings, conferences and online courses are also considered continuing education. Its duration depends on the organizers and this can take a day, weeks or months. It does not have a specific format and it has a registration process that must be met. It is not an open-to-the-public gathering as it usually offers limited slots.

Requirements for this depend on employers, licensing boards and social organizations. Employers may require their workers to undergo a certain number of hours for training before they get promoted. Licensing boards of states may require professionals to renew their certain licenses if they have additional units or credits. Membership in professional organizations may also be renewed if members can present additional units on certain subjects.

Community colleges offer such courses of Continuing Education classes. Professional association and business establishments also offer them. To be sure, those who wish to enroll in such a program can inquire from their organizations and employers where the venue and schedules of these programs are.

Adult education and continuing education are opportunities for adults to learn more. Whether they have acquired college degrees or not, continuing education will definitely enable them to have the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge. These skills will develop not only their professional careers but also improve their personal lives. Adults should never stop learning even if they get older. Education is not only for the youth but for everyone who wants to learn a new thing or two.

  1. U.S. Department of Education - Office of Vocational and Adult Education

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