Critical Steps to Continuing Education
TV commercials and brochures tout various continuing education programs as well as the important role of those courses, the overreaching theme is clear. The main reason is that there too many factors to consider in making the choice to go back to school as an adult: cost, the right school to attend, area of focus, and level of commitment. Among a variety of aspects, the most important one is to determine what you want – whether to advance in your current field, develop new life skill, enter a new field of interest, gain more experience to earn more money, or make new connections, etc.
Here are some of the most useful steps to those who want to enroll continuing education.
What are Continuing Education (CE) classes?
This type of education can be referred as non-degree courses offering valuable insight into a particular topic for learners. Some of CE classes offer fundamental overviews of a subject, whilst other classes cover updated or specialized topics of chosen fields. These classes can be held at a university, college, trade association, or many commonly online at a site (for example, StateCE site).
- 1. Pick your passion
The most important thing for your continuing education is to choose a field that you are passionate about. Nevertheless, it needs to be realistic; for example, writing poetry might be your eagerness, but it is not necessarily in-demand or profitable. Always chew over before choosing a major. While chemical engineering can be a specific area with little wiggle room, a degree in foreign language or in business can normally offer you multiple avenues to explore.
When it comes to what major to choose, many adults find it confusing because of various options. If you are one of them, it may be useful to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Try to think about what excites you and you are really good at, then contrast these strong points with the skills that you feel not as developed in.
Equally important, do your own research of any additional certification or licensing for your chosen career. Each state probably has specific requirements before a teacher or technician can actively work in their field of choice.
- 2. Consideration of college costs
Tuition seems to be one of the most problematic factors in terms of going back to school, but other financial resources such as scholarships become more prevalent for adult trainee. If you have a chance, try to talk with your employer who may provide tuition reimbursement for employee attending college classes.
In addition, tax credits can be an upside to spend money on college cost. With some credits like Lifetime Learning, American Opportunity and Student Loan, interest deduction may be worth up to 2000 US dollars or even more in tax credits.
It is also advisable to look at your schooling as a future investment. A promotion or pay rise can certainly outset the cost of tuition in the long-run. There can be a small tip that you should explore online courses as a way to limit out-of-pocket costs.
- 3. Choose a school
The decision of what school to choose is made based on your needs as an adult learner. As reported by the National Surveys of Student in Continuing Education, most of the interviewed adult learners prefer affordable course which is near to their house and provides nontraditional services like online programs, expanded degree options, classes tailored to adults and child care.
There will be a lot of factors to consider if you want to enroll continual education. Do you want an accelerated program? Whether do you want to be full time or part time? Do counselors stay available when you have questions? Are credits offered for any skill or prior work experience? And many other elements include size of classes, tutoring resources like library, course load, student centers, etc.
Continuing education is a broad term which is used to indicate all post – college opportunities, from free lectures at a community center to graduate degrees and certificates. As an adult learner, the most critical thing you should do to ensure your success is dedicating yourself to being a student. With the right preparation and attitude, it will be fun, convenient, and become the path to the future you want.