Adult education resources in the past were limited. In larger cities, adults wishing to complete their high school education were limited to two or three high schools in the entire area that offered adult classes. In smaller cities, adult basic education classes were not offered every semester, or even every year. Adults wishing to return to college were needed to work their professional schedules around the college’s daytime course schedule, as colleges offered few night classes and virtually no weekend classes. It was not uncommon for an employer to adjust an employee’s schedule so that the employee could work evenings and weekends to attend college classes during the day.
Today, as more and more adults head back to the classroom, adult education resources are plentiful. The U.S. Department of Education promotes adult education resources for basic education, secondary education and language acquisition by providing federal funds to individual States for adult education programs. This allows local schools to offer continuing adult education programs that would otherwise not be available. Many other countries also subsidize adult education through local universities and learning centers.
Colleges are seeing an increasing number of adults return to the classroom to enhance their skills in the workplace and job market. This high demand for continuing adult education prompted colleges to begin offering more evening and weekend classes in the mid-1990s. With the advent of the Internet, many colleges went online to offer courses, and colleges who offer courses only online were created as early as 1993. It is now possible to find dozens of accredited online universities. Adult education resources online are easily found simply by searching online for college courses, adult education, college degrees or continuing education.
In choosing an appropriate online course of study, it is important to know whether the college or center offering the course is accredited. There are now websites entirely devoted to listing, and helping students find, accredited online universities. Websites such as The Internet Public Library and EducationforAdults.com are valuable adult education resources that can also offer guidance in finding an accredited program.
Each State in the U.S. and most countries offer their own web-based adult education resource. Ed.gov, in the United States, offers a directory of accredited colleges, information on financial aid, a planning guide for adult students and information on graduate courses. EducationCanada.com offers links to basic education, post secondary education and online programs. Direct.Gov.UK offers adult education resources for the United Kingdom.
With the increased need for adult education comes the increased need to finance the education. Many online resources are available to help students find loans, grants and scholarships to finance their return to the classroom.