Finding Adult Education Courses That Work

Taking adult education courses at a college or university is different than registering as an undergrad right out of high school. So what do these types of students need from adult education courses? Take a look and think about these important concessions that schools make for when career changes or other situations have adult learners whistling "see you in September."

A Clear Career Path

In undergraduate situation, many young people are just casting around, trying different things and figuring out what they want to be in life. The liberal education system reflects that. But for adult learners who are going back to school after a hiatus, it's often much more concrete than that. These students will want to have specific skills and qualifications that they can use to advance in their careers. Schools have to build an adult education catalog that caters to those needs, and clearly provides a career path, rather than just promising educational enrichment.


For the average undergrad, any time of day is fine for class, except for 8:00 in the morning. But adult learners will have to schedule classes before and after work, or around other responsibilities. You often hear people talk about 'going to night school,' because they're taking the classes late in the evening. This is another critical aspect of how schools and universities accommodate adults returning to the education system after some time in the work world.

Working with Existing Credits

It's also important for many adult learners that the school or college they choose recognizes the work that they've done it earlier in their academic life. A significant percentage of adult learners come back to school having already completed part of an associate's or bachelor's degree in some type of field. So it doesn't make sense for most of them to start at the beginning. Schools that have a versatile way of reviewing transcripts and reflecting past coursework will get more of these older students enrolled in their programs.

Audit and Limited Course Work Options

Not everyone who goes back to school is looking to enroll in a full course load, and pay the kinds of massive tuition rates that so many high school graduates cheerfully sign onto. They might want the option to audit a single course, or to take a certain limited course that will give them job skills. Again, versatility is key, and the best schools and universities try to understand the needs of the students, to meet them halfway.

If you're someone going back to school as an adult, think about how these types of accommodations will add value to your next semester.

To learn more about adult education classes, contact a company like NKU PACE.