Continuing Adult Education Options

Community colleges and adult education programs offer endless opportunities for enhanced knowledge and educational growth.

Community Colleges

Community colleges are designed to meet the demands of diverse student populations with various interests and needs.

They offer a vast array of courses in a variety of disciplines, including:

  • Art and social sciences
  • Business management
  • Computer science
  • English as a second language (ESL)
  • Foreign languages

In the United States, community colleges are a cost-effective alternative to four-year universities. At community colleges, it is possible to obtain a two-year associate’s degree or simply take courses for personal enrichment or professional advancement.

Before attending, verify that the college is accredited by the local accreditation board. With more than 1,100 community colleges across the United States, there is a wide range of choices for ongoing study.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, community colleges educate more than 6 million people in the United States. They offer open-access admissions (admission open to all learners), comprehensive program offerings, a community-based philosophy, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

In addition, community colleges have the tradition of charging lower tuition rates than universities. In-district fees generally will be lower than out-of-district fees, but there is usually no need for long-term state residency to qualify for the lower fees.

This can be helpful for students wishing to attend four-year colleges or universities. Community colleges can be the place to complete general studies courses more cost-effectively before transferring to complete a bachelor’s degree. Among all students who completed a degree at a four-year college in 2015–16, 49 percent had enrolled at a two-year college in the previous 10 years.

Continuing Education Programs

Throughout the United States, many cities and towns offer adult education and continuing education programs that can be affiliated with the local public school system.

These programs offer a variety of special interest and creative courses and often can be accessed through the local chamber of commerce or board of education.

Among more academic subjects, courses may be offered in:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Business and finance
  • Computer training
  • Culinary offerings
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • ESL and foreign languages
  • First aid
  • Gardening
  • Music

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