Adult Education Alternatives

adult education alternatives

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.

Continuing Education

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.

• 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.

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