The Boston Center for Adult Education is a truly unique institution. It is a non-profit adult education center and is the oldest of its kind in New England. The Center has an interesting history. It was founded in 1933 and in 1941 moved to the Gamble Mansion, which was built in 1904 and was the family home of Mr. And Mrs. Walter Baylies until 1936. The mansion has a beautiful Louis XV ballroom that was built specially for one of the Baylies’ daughters for her debutant ball. The ballroom and three other beautiful rooms in the mansion are available to rent for special occasion and events.
In the 1940s, The Boston Center for Adult Education was actually used by volunteers for wartime efforts. In the 1960s the Center was often the site of debates on social policy. Today the Center conducts educational tours centered around the arts, literature and architecture.
The mission of the Boston Center for Adult Education is simple. They strive to provide enrichment for the lives of Boston’s citizens through adult education that nurtures personal development and promotes professional development.
The Boston Center for Adult Education realizes only about 70% of its operating budget from tuitions and relies on donations and fundraisers to make up the balance. This allows the Center to keep its tuition low enough to be affordable to the broadest possible range of people in the Boston area.
The Boston Center for Adult Education strives to keep abreast of adults’ changing education needs, both for personal enrichment and professional needs. Some of the more interesting personal enrichment courses are courses on how to make your own lotions and salves, silver smithing, glass blowing and stained glass. The BCAE also features professional growth classes in communication, software packages and HR management.
The BCAE also offers unusual and innovative courses not easily found elsewhere. For example, courses on how to make money from Google, making money buying and selling on E-Bay, and making a living without a job can all be found at the BCAE.
In addition to the Gamble Mansion, the Boston Center for Adult Education has a Studio on Arlington Street where the creative arts courses are taught. Class offerings at the Studio range from woodworking, to painting to jewelry. There is also a music room and a dance studio. Lessons in piano, saxophone, harmonica and violin, to name a few, are given in the music room. The dance studio, which features floor to ceiling mirrors, also doubles as a driving range with a drop-down net.
In addition to its educational activities, the Center hosts special events. Theater, wine tasting, culinary events and opera are all on the menu at The Boston Center for Adult Education.