Adult education encompasses a broad array of learning opportunities for those who are beyond the age of traditional students. This could mean everything from learning to read to gaining an advanced degree. There’s a lot of options within the spectrum. Let’s take a look at what educational opportunities exist for nontraditional learners.
Possessing fundamental skills in reading, writing and math is essential to being a productive citizen. Unfortunately, for various reasons, there are may adult who fall through the cracks and don’t manage to gain these abilities. This not only causes a problem for the individual and their family, it contributes to a greater societal issue. We want a literate society that allows the population to lead independent,fulfilling lives. This end goal benefits everyone. Basic literacy provides adult students with these skills. It can be taught at community centers, school districts and institutions of higher learning.
Adult Basic Education
Another type of adult education is Adult Basic Education (ABE). It’s similar to basic literacy, but it goes a step beyond providing fundamental academic skills, according to the Department of Education. The Adult Basic Education program is one that is found in each state within the U.S. States provide programs that teach comprehensive academic skills like reading, math and writing. These classes also teach skills of daily living and problem solving. Activities like balancing a checkbook, critical reading and figuring out common computations are covered, as well as some workforce preparation.
Adults who didn’t graduate from high school and are in need of a diploma can obtain a certificate known as the GED, which stands for General Educational Development. The GED is a test that allows people to show they possess the competencies gained through a high school education. There is usually extensive preparation required for this test, as it’s quite rigorous. Test prep programs can be found both online and in brick and mortar classrooms. They provide the information needed to do well on the exam. The GED test is made up of five parts. These are social studies, math, science, writing and interpreting literature. There is a great deal of material to learn. By passing the exam, students then hold the equivalent of a high school diploma and can move on to higher education if they desire.
There are other types of adult learning opportunities that are quite commonly seen. Vocational training for those wishing to learn a trade falls under this category if the learner is outside of the typical age range of traditional students. This is especially true for workforce development programs designed to help displaced or undereducated workers gain employment. Even going back to college to obtain or complete a degree is considered part of this realm for students of nontraditional age. As is continuing education for continued professional certification and taking classes for personal enrichment.
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There are a number of ways adult learners can choose to pursue education and for many reasons. They all fall under the larger umbrella of adult education and are important to the advancement of an informed and productive society.