Adult Schools in Southern California

There are many adult education programs available in Southern California, ranging from adult basic education and GED classes to more arts and career oriented programs. Read through this article to consider the programs offered by different schools and the benefits that they may have on your future career prospects.

Schools and Programs

Adult learners in Southern California can prepare for a career, enhance professional skills, satisfy adult basic education requirements or develop a personal interest through studies at several institutions in this area. Vocational career training programs are designed to help students obtain entry-level positions in a variety of areas. Many career-oriented programs offer hands-on training through field experiences in professional settings.

Students also have the opportunity to improve their fitness or indulge their love of painting, writing, gardening or cooking. Some programs are designed specifically for older adults. Most programs last for several sessions or longer. Read below for more details about two institutions located in Southern California that provide adult education programs.

Schools At a Glance

Division of Adult and Career Education

  • Located in Los Angeles, this school offers a range of on-campus adult education programs.
  • Options include basic adult education, personal and career development, ESL programs and parenting education.

Santa Barbara City College

  • This is a two-year public school in Santa Barbara that has a number of adult education classes in a wide variety of fields, all of which must be studied on-campus.
  • As well as adult basic education, GED and ESL programs, there are a number of programs in wellness, the arts and other areas intended to improve a student's personal wellbeing.

Golden Oaks Adult School

  • This school in Santa Clarita offers on-campus GED and ESL classes, as well as basic adult education.
  • Students may also take short-term career and technical education training designed specifically to respond to local industry needs, with courses intended to help them become certified medical assistants or pharmacy technicians.

Los Angeles Unified School District

The Division of Adult and Career Education at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) provides adult basic education, English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, parenting education, career development and a variety of personal development classes for adults. Classes are held at community education schools and other institutions throughout the district.

Career Technical Education Programs

Fifteen career technical education programs are offered in a multitude of areas, including agriculture and natural resources; arts, media, and entertainment; engineering and design; information technology; manufacturing and product development; fashion and interior design; finance and business; health science and medical technology; as well as building, trades and construction.

Adult Basic Education Programs

Adult basic education programs are available in literacy that cover basic reading, writing, and math skills through the ninth grade level. Adult students are prepared for high school diploma or general educational development (GED) programs.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs

Adults with little or no English proficiency can acquire English language communications skills through the ESL courses. These programs cover listening, speaking, reading and writing at different skill levels. A citizenship program is also offered.

Adult Secondary Education Program

The adult secondary education program is available to students looking to obtain the necessary credentials for a high school diploma. Students will prepare for the high school equivalency exam and/or the general education development exam.

Santa Barbara City College

The continuing education division at Santa Barbara City College is locally know as 'Adult Ed.' The division offers over 500 courses each year aimed at promoting lifelong learning. In addition to adult basic education, GED and ESL programs, a number of courses are offered in areas such as wellness, home and garden, the arts and business.

Arts, Crafts, Performance Courses

Santa Barbara City College's Lifelong Learning division offers myriad programs in arts, crafts and performance. Students can choose from classes in crafts, like calligraphy and ceramics; classes in arts, like abstract painting and watercolor painting outdoors; and classes in jewelry making. Also offered are classes in music and performing arts, such as piano, choral singing, and songwriting; or workshop classes in woodworking.

Body, Mind and Spirit Courses

Body, mind and spirit courses are also offered. Included are fitness, dance, and yoga classes; health classes; hiking classes; and psychology and spirituality classes.

Events, Language, Photo Courses

Courses in this subject area include current events, world affairs and local culture classes. French and Spanish language classes are also available. Some of the other topics from which students can choose include traveling photography, fiction, and Shakespeare.

Home and Family Courses

Home and family courses available at Santa Barbara City College's Center for Lifelong Learning include classes in cooking, genealogy, home and garden, mature driver certifications, non-profit skills, parenting, and personal finance and home business. Other course topics include wine tasting, QuickBooks, childbirth yoga, grant writing, managing your own portfolio, and retirement planning.

Nature, Science, Recreation Courses

Nature, science, and recreation course topics that are available include sailing, natural history hikes, and playing chess. Most of these courses will take place out of doors.

Golden Oaks Adult School

Along with adult basic education, ESL and GED programs, Golden Oaks Adult School in Valencia, Santa Clarita, offers career training programs to allow students to become certified medical assistants or pharmacy technicians. These short-term programs are tailored to employment demands within these fields in the local area. English language civic lessons are taught alongside the ESL classes. All courses at Golden Oaks require students to be on campus, with no programs offered online.

Certified Medical Assistant

In this 22-week course, students will gain the knowledge and certification required to find a career as a medical assistant. Medical assistants provide a wide range of duties to doctors, emergency service providers, and other medical professionals. The Golden Oaks program offers administrative skills, clinical skills and an education into medical terminology. Externships will be required as part of the course. After finishing their classes, students will be able to gain the certification required to find work in the field.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians carry out many of the day-to-day duties required within a pharmacy, including managing prescriptions, taking inventory, coordinating payments and providing general support to the pharmacist. This program covers areas such as medical terminology, pharmacy law, and anatomy and physiology, as well as giving students advice for seeking employment. Students are not required to have a high school diploma for this program, although it is beneficial.

Southern California is home to a number of schools offering adult education programs, many of which require students to be on campus rather than studying online. Whether you are looking to improve your general wellness, learn a new skill, gain professional skills or complete core educational courses, there are many options available to you in the Southern California area.

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