Kids aren’t the only ones who go to school. A degree in Adult and Continuing Education is like other education majors, except the age group you’ll be focusing on is older. You’ll be able to teach adults who either are receiving an education for the first time, or who may be a bit rusty on the basics after several years out of school. You may also teach continuing education for professionals who need to keep up education credentials or train individuals on new career paths.
Adult and Continuing Education majors like helping people. They enjoy the educational setting, and like being able to help people apply their new knowledge immediately in their jobs and their lives.
Adult and Continuing Education majors are good in conversation. While they’ll give lectures, they need to do more than just be able to speak in front of a group – they should lead discussions and be able to talk with people. They’re also patient – teaching an old dog (forgive the expression) new tricks can be tough sometimes.
Would you feel weird if your mom were in your class? Then you’ll probably feel weird with just about everyone in your class. If teaching adults is intimidating to you but you want a career in education, check out some of the other age groups you could work with.
As an Adult and Continuing Education major, a lot of what you learn will depend on what you’re teaching. Of course you’ll learn the basics of education, though your principles will be quite different than others because a fifth grader, for example, learns much differently than a 50-year-old.
There are plenty of places that non-traditional students seek education. Some colleges offer night classes, ranging from college math and English to special topics like photography. Individual communities may also sponsor classes.
Try taking a night class. You can learn a lot from the experience, and it shows that you’re all about practicing what your profession preaches – always learning.
Ask around to see what kind of volunteer opportunities might be available to help you get a glimpse into the world of Adult and Continuing Education. It may help you decide what you want to emphasize in and you’ll also get some useful experience.