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Adult Classes: What to Expect in an Adult Class?

Adult education classes range from self-enrichment to basic and secondary education to continuing education and professional development. Classes vary but can include sculpting, mathematics, reading, writing and social sciences. While some classes last for only a short duration, others can take several months to complete.

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Adult classes can cover self-enrichment topics, academic subjects or the GED. Students can choose between a wide range of offerings based on their needs and goals.

An Overview of Adult Classes

Adult education classes are typically geared toward individuals seeking self-enrichment, pursuing continuing education or professional development units, seeking high school educations and needing help with basic skills, such as reading, writing, English and mathematics. While many adult classes are taught at community colleges and public high schools, some are taught online as well. Adult classes are also available to individuals who are incarcerated.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Types of Classes

Self-enrichment classes are informal for the most part and usually involve a great amount of hands-on instruction. Many classes are brief, lasting anywhere from 1-2 days to a few weeks. Self-enrichment classes rarely lead to a degree; their sole purpose is to provide individuals with skills that are useful at home or in the workplace. Possible topics include:

  • Cooking
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Money management

Other classes cover academic subjects, either at basic or more advanced levels. Adult classes that teach basic skills are open to individuals - at least 16 years old - who need a little extra help conquering the basics. Learning environments include individual instruction, small groups and large groups. Students may study:

  • Math
  • History
  • Science
  • Reading
  • Writing

These classes can help students develop skills in:

  • Conversation
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical-thinking
  • General communication

At higher levels, students may take more advanced classes in particular areas of interest or in subjects related to their careers. Options include:

  • Literature
  • Foreign languages
  • Business

GED Preparation

General Educational Development (GED) programs give individuals who did not finish high school the chance to get a high school education by preparing for the GED credentialing tests. Students must pass a series of four tests in reasoning through language arts, social studies, mathematics and science in order to earn the GED. Students may find preparation programs through a variety of organizations, including:

  • Community colleges
  • Technical schools
  • Community organizations
  • Private companies

In adult classes, students can take informal classes that enrich their lives, or academic classes that build the educational foundation they need for success in society and the workplace. There are also GED training programs for adults.

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