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What is an adult learning center and how is it different from a real school?

I want to understand what goes on in an adult learning center and who gets an education from such an institution. Does the center operate like a school or more like an adult community education facility? I want to know whether the centers offer adult degree programs or just some types of certification that one can get from studying there. Do these centers offer a way in which one can further education either in the center or some higher learning institutions?

Megan Page

in Higher Education

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Heather Maxwell on July 19, 2018

I believe that an adult education center is just a community-based institution which provides elementary education programs which most of the times are less costly as compared to the mainstream education provided by schools. Just like real schools, people who study here sit for exams and enhance both their skills and life in general. It is an exciting and lively place to learn especially to adults who need to better equip themselves for the jobs that they do. These adult centers also help young adults who have desires of completing their high school education after having dropped out years back. In simpler terms, adult community education centers give people who may not have completed their education a second chance to do it when they are adults. Take for instance a Chinese 50-year old man who has always had the desire to learn English. He would be better suited in completing his ambition in a community educational institution rather than sitting in a high school class with students who are younger than him.

These centers have been designed to cater for individuals who failed to complete their high school education and have problems finding employment since they have limited education or do not have some basic education skills such as writing and elementary calculations. You may also think of these centers as a place where adults who cannot be enrolled in mainstream schools can get an additional education on subjects they desire. Unlike the school, things are pretty informal here. The school schedules and reporting and leaving time are tailored to fit adults who may not have sufficient time to be in school the whole day like students usually do. This kind of flexibility makes these learning centers convenient for adults who have other duties to do at home.

Even though most of the community-based education center may not offer higher education such as degrees and diplomas, adults are assured of getting the basic or elementary education there. However, some institutions of higher learning offer adult bachelor degree programs which are designed to help adults who are already working to earn a bachelor’s degree for instance. Have a look at the James Madison University Adult Degree Program for instance; their program creates an individualized bachelor’s program to help adults meet their career aspiration while still working. It is, therefore, possible to get higher education when you are an adult.

Roger Moore2 years ago

I think this is a brilliant post. My aunt in the Philippines attends an adult learning center near her home where she is learning English. Last time I visited her, we could talk in English and understand each other pretty well. These institutions offer great help to people who feel the urge to further some of their skills like speaking, reading, writing, and Arithmetic among others. Since they are not able to join the 2nd grade, for example, where they can learn how to write, they find themselves here and are well accepted and nurtured till they can get what they desire at an affordable price and flexible schedules. I think you might have forgotten to mention the role that the government through the department of education plays in helping adults have an easy time in these institutions. Most local governments have been involved in helping communities set up these centers by offering both financial and other resources. 


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