Learn about the variety of options for continuing education in community colleges.
With over 2.5 million adult students enrolled across the country, according to Eric Digest
, nearly one third of all community college
students are over the age of thirty. The variety of options for continuing education in community colleges gives students of any age great opportunities for both technical
and personal interest growth.
Adults Seeking Continuing Education Paths
For adults, or people who are curious about special topics, community colleges and continuing education courses allow the open-study of various subject matters. As Edgecombe Community College
, located in North Carolina, explains, “Continuing Education promotes the lifelong learning process by offering a wide range of programs and services.” The continuing education opportunities are meant to support all adults, regardless of their previous background in education. Most continuing education and special interest students are individuals who are taking classes for non-traditional reasons: According to Howell, “adult students come to community colleges with a variant set of characteristics. They are more likely to attend part-time, to take courses for self-improvement initially rather than for degree completion, and to enroll intermittently.” Because most continuing education students are already employed in careers, or work full time in or outside of the home, colleges are reporting that the continuing education students are bringing practical goals and valuable life perspective to the classroom.
What Does Continuing Education Offer?
For many adults, continuing education classes are opportunities to explore hobbies or interests that were more passions, as opposed to career paths. For example, community colleges across the country offer non-degree programs in dancing, art, sports and health,