Continuing Education and Adult Education – A Comparison


The similarities and differences between these two, often interchanged, terms are discussed along with examples of both types of education. Editors from the Write My Essay online research writing service are still arguing about this.
The two terms, continuing education and adult education, are frequently confused with each other when describing adult teaching and learning. An initial comparison of these two expressions show they are linked by one common theme – education designed for adults. Nevertheless, both are designed for different types of education. One is remedial in nature, while the other is intended to support additional schooling beyond a person’s current level of education.

Post-Secondary Learning Activities for Personal or Professional Gain: Role of Continuing Education

The term continuing education is used to describe post-secondary learning activities and primarily used in North America. On the other hand, European countries normally use the term “further education” to describe their continuing education programs. Regardless of geographic location this is fundamentally lifelong learning for adults who aspire to improve their personal knowledge, ability to achieve specific career goals, or employment skills.

Continuing education encompasses a broad component of lifelong learning activities. Examples of this type of learning include:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU) – are used to describe educational courses or career specific training necessary to earn or maintain a certification or license. CEU is required to ensure professionals remain current in their career field, especially in careers in which methods and techniques continuously evolve. Example careers include teachers, doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, fire fighters, and mental health counselors.
  • Non-Credit Education Courses – are learning activities offered to adults for their personal improvement. Courses are normally presented through community centers, libraries, colleges, or online education centers. Example courses include photography, specific computer programs, arts and crafts, community leadership, and writing. Some non-credit courses may lead to certificate; on the other hand, this is not an objective of some adults interested only in self-improvement.
  • Degree-Specific Programs – are degree or certificate programs offered through profit or non-profit two-year colleges, or four-year colleges and universities. The objective of adults enrolled in these degree-specific programs is to improve their employment skills by gaining new knowledge, opportunity to change careers, or chances to gain entry level positions in a specific career field.

Basic Skills and Remedial Education: Role of Adult Education

Adult education focuses on helping adults learn the basic skills or buy essay needed to succeed in today's workforce. The adults completing this type of education normally fall into two categories.

Basic Skills – a general education development (GED) certificate program, the equivalent to a high school diploma, or complete high school.
Remedial Education – are taught in post-secondary education, because students usually failed one or more basic knowledge entry level examinations in reading, writing, or math.

This leads to the primary purpose of adult education, which is to help adults meet the necessary level of education to enroll in a college education program, increase their standard of living, attain citizenship, or complete vocational job training or retraining.

Reasons for Basic and Remedial Education Programs

Adult education courses and programs are typically taught in high schools, community centers, prisons, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges or universities. Examples of this type of education include:

GED – are courses in reading, writing, science, social studies, and math. These courses are intended for those who did not complete high school due to quitting high school, immigrated into this country without an equivalent education, were unable to pass state required high school exit exam, or left high school early to begin college.

Remedial Courses – are designed to help high school graduates who are academically unprepared for college level work in reading, writing, and mathematics. According to a report by Strong American Schools (Diploma to Nowhere, 2008):

  • 43 percent of all incoming two-year college students are required to take remedial courses.
  • 29 percent of all incoming four-year college students are required to take remedial courses.
  • 80 percent of these students graduated high school with a 3.0 grade point average or higher.

These two adult education programs help those who need to acquire the basic skills necessary to compete in a workforce needed for the global economy of the 21st century.

Continuing education and adult education programs have both similarities and differences, which make them uniquely dissimilar. However, they both involve teaching adults to help them with custom essay writing. Also, the courses in these programs are offered on weekends and nights to accommodate the lifestyle commitments or work schedules of today’s adult learners. Because of this convenience, there are few reasons why adults who need additional education, basic education, or remedial education do not enroll in an appropriate education program.

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