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What are the Different Types of Courses in Adult Education?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different types of courses in adult education available to students, though these typically vary based on the school offering them. Many courses can be taken in a number of different ways, such as through traditional classes or distance learning over the Internet. Some courses are offered to help students in completing a standard degree, usually a four-year program that ends in a bachelor’s degree or a graduate program that offers a master’s degree. There are also courses in adult education intended as continuing or ongoing education, and may not be aimed at the completion of a particular degree.

Courses in adult education are typically classes offered at a college or university which are primarily aimed at older students. These students typically include adults returning to school to complete a degree or working toward a degree to find a new career. Courses in adult education can be offered in a number of different ways, though schools will often design courses and programs to work with students who may have professional and family obligations. Such courses are often available in a classroom, though they are frequently scheduled in the evenings or on weekends, and online classes are quite popular as well.

Some of the most common types of courses in adult education available at many schools are standard courses that apply toward a particular degree. Many schools that focus on adult education will offer students the ability to work on a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. These programs are typically aimed at fairly practical degrees, such as in business, nursing, or education, rather than more academic degrees. Such courses in adult education enable older students to more quickly receive a degree and begin working in a new field.

There are also many courses in adult education intended for people already working in a particular field, but who require continued or ongoing education. Continued education typically refers to classes taken by a professional to assist in expanding knowledge or to continue learning about new developments in a particular field. These courses may be available as individual classes that meet a variety of requirements or they may be part of a larger program that allows a student to earn a higher level degree or professional certification. There are also courses in adult education that can allow a student to gain technical skills, such as those required in information technology (IT), without pursuing a particular degree.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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