Your Online Resource for Adult Education Classes

AdultEducationClasses is full of helpful guides on distance learning and online degrees. Earning your degree online can allow you greater flexibility in scheduling and cut costs associated with campuses like commute expenses, child care costs, and dorm rent.

Many adults are returning to school to earn a degree, train for a new career, or advance in their current one. And thanks to online learning, career changers, job seekers, and working adults can enroll in classes without incurring travel costs.

Kaplan University — Since its founding 1937, Kaplan University has grown to become a top provider of online education with over 170 programs available. These programs cover anything from criminal justice to nursing. Financial aid is available to those who apply and qualify. Kaplan University is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
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Ashford University — What started out as a junior college for women in 1918 has now become one of the largest schools in online education. Ashford University offers programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's level with online programs available. Ashford is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 5107489001,
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Liberty University — While Liberty University was only founded in 1971, it has quickly become not only the biggest university in Virginia, but the biggest Christian school in the world. Part of this stems from its expansion into online education, helping it reach students no matter where they are. Liberty is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Southern New Hampshire University — Southern New Hampshire University is a growing online school with a campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. The school was founded back in 1932 and offers over 60 undergrad and graduate programs through online classes. SNHU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Walden University — Walden University was founded in 1970 as a school focused on doctoral and other post-graduate programs. Its course catalog includes programs in nursing, business, management, education, and much more through campus-based or online programs. Walden is a member of the North Central Association and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
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Boston University — Boston University is one of the world's largest schools with more than 16 campuses, 250 fields of study, over 150 years of operation, and students in 140 countries. This is part of Boston's commitment to online education and academic integrity, and the school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Continuing and Adult Education

There are many different types of adult education, sometimes also referred to as “training and development” or “professional development” education. A working adult is unlikely to have the freedom to simply quit his or her job and go “back to school” full time, therefore these courses make getting an informal education easy. Adults can be classified as anyone 16 or older, but it depends on the program for what age group they’re targeting through their courses. Adult education classes can be easily taken online. Many community colleges and lifelong learning centers also offer adult education classes, including through online format. Libraries often also have literacy centers that offer on or off-site tutoring for adults, too.

Adult education classes are different from vocational education classes and non-formal adult education. Adult education tends to focus on learning skills and personal development. This may be working on reading and writing, practicing math skills, preparing students for GED tests, English language studies, and more. Adult education can also be in the form of certificate programs, such as certified nurse aid, office skills, computer skills, and customer service. Often adult education classes cover family literacy programs, which combine adult and early childhood education and include parenting classes. Sometimes adult education classes are a state-wide program and services are sometimes free.

What to Expect

Adult education classes vary depending on the state, the program, and whether or not it’s online or classroom based. Typically programs provide one-to-one tutoring and small group sessions. Public libraries, nonprofit organizations, school systems, community colleges, and more administer adult education classes. Typically community colleges receive grants from state welfare and unemployment departments to offer adult education classes to individuals who need to gain work skills. Sometimes adult education classes are also offered to prison ex-offenders so they can enter back into society.

An important aspect ton consider is that adults already have accumulated knowledge. They’ve gained experience through work, military service, or other venues. These experiences have added to their overall view of the world and can also aid in their learning.

Types of Adult and Continuing Education Classes

There are a wide variety of adult and continuing education classes available both online and offline. Distance learning is great for people who want to study at anytime and anywhere. These types of classes may also include face-to-face meetings with an instructor or tutor. The following is a list of descriptions of classes that you may find at an adult education center near you, or through a center on the Web.

  • Adult Basic Education (ABE): These are classes for people age 16 and older who want to improve basic skills. These skills may include reading, writing, and math. There are a variety of different ABE courses that are offered so you’re bound to find one that fits your needs.
  • GED Test Preparation: These classes are for people ages 16 and older that want help preparing for their GED exam. The five parts on a GED include 1) Language Arts – Reading, 2) Language Arts – Writing, 3) Social Studies, 4) Science, and 5) Mathematics.
  • English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA): These are classes for people 16 or older who want to learn the English language. They teach how to read and write in English. Sometimes they cover cultural issues, too. Sometimes these courses are also known as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
  • Medical Transcription: This certificate program is available to adult students with a background in medicine and science, having previous experience with anatomy and physiology. Students learn templating, document writing and technical medical writing skills.
  • WorkReady Courses: These are meant for adults 55-years-old or older who are having trouble finding employment. They’ll teach you how to read and express yourself clearly, use a computer, and how to solve problems. They’ll also teach you how to change your lifestyle so you’re an employable person.
  • Grant Writing Certificate: This is typically an online course that teaches you how to write grants. This is good if you’re looking for a job in grant writing, or if you have a current job that you don’t have the skills for. This adult education class will equip you with the skills and tools you need to enter the field of grant writing.
  • Computer Certification Classes: These courses will help you become familiar with computers and technology. You’ll learn how computers work, how to fix computers, or how to use the Internet and other computer programming. There are a variety of different computer courses online that will assist you in learning this technology.

There are also many “personal enrichment” courses that are offered through adult education. These are typically courses in a certain subject area, such as arts and crafts, cooking, home and family, health and wellness, music, dance, travel, and more. Through these courses adults can learn computer applications, how to start their own business, how to become a photographer, health care skills, general personal enrichment, and other skills. These kinds of courses can be found both in a classroom setting and online. A list of different topics that are covered through adult education classes includes, but is not limited to:

  • Business
  • Certificate Programs
  • Compliance
  • Composition and Design
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Finance
  • Healthcare and Medical
  • Industrial Skills
  • Insurance
  • Languages
  • Legal
  • Personal Enrichment
  • Real Estate
  • Services and Hospitality
  • Skilled Trades
  • Software Applications
  • U.S. Public Service

Further Resources on Adult Education Classes:

There are many Internet resources available that offer an array of information on adult education classes. The following is a list of a few important organizations to check out:

  • International Council for Adult Education: According to their website, the ICAE is a global network created in 1973. Through the ICAE network, adult learning is promoted as a tool for active citizenship and informed participation of people. The ICAE is composed of non-governmental organizations, regional, national and sectoral networks in more than 75 countries. It’s a NGO in formal consultative relations with UNESCO and with consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • Adult Literacy Education (ALE) U.S.A. Wiki: This wiki site has comprehensive information on adult education classes in the United States. It includes English language learning, numeracy, and adult basic and secondary education. You can also add knowledge from your experience teaching or tutoring adult learners, from research or professional wisdom, or from your experience as an adult learner. The ALE Wiki is a community of practice with links to research for practitioners, researchers, learners and others.
  • The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning: This is a USA based non-profit organization that covers all areas of adult education. They advocate on behalf of adult learners to increase access to education and economic security; provide adults with career guidance and help them earn college credit for what they already know; equip colleges and universities to attract, retain, and graduate more adult students; provide employers with smart strategies for employee development; and build workforce organizations’ capacity to connect worker skills to employer demands.
  • BBC WebWise: The BBC has dedicated a Website page to adult education. They provide free interactive courses that help you learn the basics of using computers and the Internet. They also offer easy-to-read blog posts about the Web, online safety, modern technology, and more.

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