What is a College of Adult Education?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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A college of adult education is a college or university that provides courses and services specifically designed to appeal to those enrolled in adult education classes. Such colleges often provide online classes, evening classes, more flexible schedules that can be incorporated into a person’s existing responsibilities, and assistance for returning students. It typically provides education for adults of all ages, including young adults who have just completed high school, though the programs are often designed specifically for the needs of older students.

One of the ways in which a college of adult education typically appeals to older or returning students is with greater availability of classes. While most colleges and universities offer some classes in the evenings or weekends, this type of school may be more likely to have such courses offered. Online classes are also often available from such schools, usually in a way designed to allow students to create a schedule that is effective and flexible.


A college of adult education is usually designed for older students who are interested in adult education. Younger students can usually still attend such a college, though this sort of school may not offer all of the opportunities such a student may be interested in pursuing. Fraternities and sororities, for example, might not be represented at such a college, and other events such as movie screenings and extracurricular activities might not be promoted there. These are typically not done due to the fact that many students may not have time for such activities.

The programs offered at this type of school may also be more limited in scope. This is because many adult education students are returning students looking to complete a degree, or students who want a practical and usable degree. Degrees in philosophy or religious studies, for example, may not always be available, while degrees in business, education, and medical fields are often quite common. The college can also usually assist students who are looking to begin a new career, so more academic fields may passed over in favor of those that are more practical in nature.



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