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An adult education school takes four basic forms, vocational or trade schools, community or junior colleges, traditional 4-year colleges or universities and online schools and courses. An adult education school offers courses ranging from basic math and reading skills to higher education degrees, from personal enrichment classes to guides to entrepreneurship.

Vocational and Trade Schools

Vocational and trade schools prepare the student for a job in a specific field, such as air conditioner repair, plumbing, computer repair or truck driving. But the vocational schools of today don’t just stop there. A student can now get an associate’s degree at some vocational schools offering specialized education in fields like electronics and computer science. Some vocational schools even offer bachelor degree programs. Courses of study in a vocational or trade school can take from four weeks to four years to complete, depending on the course of study. A vocational school is often seen as a predominantly adult education school however, vocational and trade schools are a major choice for students who have not yet entered the work force.

Community Colleges

A community or junior college is an adult education school in addition to being a school for students who have not yet entered the workplace. Community colleges offer a two-year associate’s degree curriculum and some community colleges also offer vocational courses and certification.

In addition to offering a large selection of academic courses and a full daytime schedule, community colleges are well known for offering adult continuing education courses in basic reading, writing and math and personal enrichment courses with both night and weekend class schedules. Tuition at a community college is lower than tuition at a traditional 4-year college, which is an issue for many students.

Traditional 4-Year Colleges and Universities

The traditional 4-year college and university is increasingly changing its structure to serve as an adult education school as well as serving in its traditional role. These colleges and universities are offering an increased catalogue of evening and weekend courses geared to attract the adult student.

Online Schools and Courses

Online schools began in the early 1990s and have been increasing steadily in popularity because students are able to take courses from any computer terminal. While some online courses have a structured class time, many courses allow the student to do the work whenever it is convenient. This makes online schools a great option as an adult education school.

Online schools offer a wide variety of courses, ranging from accounting, to business administration to psychology and offer associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Not all online schools are accredited. Students wishing to achieve a degree from an accredited school should check the school’s accreditation carefully before enrolling.

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