What Is Continuing Education?

Instructor: Donna Smith
Many colleges, universities, and vocational schools offer continuing education to adults interested in pursuing further instruction for professional or personal reasons. Keep reading to learn what these continuing education programs have to offer.

Types of Continuing Education Programs

Continuing education is when adults return to formal instruction to remain current in their career, develop serviceable skills, train for a new job, earn a degree, or develop a personal interest. Some of the types of continuing education programs adults might participate in are outlined below.

Test Prep

Students who did not graduate from high school can pursue a GED to qualify for jobs or to enroll in college. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer classes to help students prepare for the GED exams. These schools can provide test preparation for undergraduate and graduate college admissions exams as well. also offers self-paced test prep courses that include practice questions, quizzes, and exams, some of which are listed below:

Professional Development

Adults can participate in conferences, workshops, seminars, and courses to update their job skills and learn about office technology. In a professional development class, business managers study ways to improve workplace communication and efficiency. Teachers have the opportunity to perfect their instructional strategies, and job seekers can gain insight into how to network, prepare for an interview, and exhibit professional behavior.

You can also choose from a large selection of professional development courses at, such as:

Occupational Certification and Licensure

Licenses and certifications ensure that workers are trained in the latest techniques, regulations, and technologies pertaining to their career. People working in such fields as education and healthcare might have to seek out continuing education to renew these credentials, and some schools offer programs awarding Continuing Education Units (CEU) for this purpose.

Certification and licensure can also require passing scores on standardized tests. To help professionals earn their initial credentials, offers several courses, a handful of which are listed below:

College Credit and Degrees

Adults wishing to earn college credits they can apply towards a degree might attend continuing education classes part-time, at night, and on the weekend.

When you take a college course at, it's possible to earn a form of college credit acceptable at more than 2,000 schools. All courses are self-paced, and you can access them with your phone, tablet, or computer. Course options include:

Personal Enrichment

As an adult, you may want to take a class for fun, whether to learn more about a specific topic or focus on a hobby. Enrichment classes can cover topics ranging from art, photography, and cooking to fitness, gardening and retirement planning.

Some of the courses useful for personal enrichment are listed below:

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

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