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Adult Learning with the University System of Georgia’s Adult Learner Website

Class and teacher gatherd around laptopIf you are interested in continuing your learning well after your college years, there are many opportunities in the States for you to do so. One such opportunity, for instance, is with the University System of Georgia’s (USG) Adult Learner website. They have 13 USG campuses as part of the Adult Learning Consortium (http://www.georgiaonmyline.org/adultlearner). Here, they focus on adult learners who want to pursue their college degree. The Georgia OnmyLine website allows these learners access to courses and degree programs.

A few of the universities that are involved in this program include: Armstrong Atlantic State University, Columbus State University, Dalton State College, Gordon State College, University of North Georgia and more. Their online college, as they explain, “gives you incredible flexibility. While you’re still held to the same high standards as on-campus students, you can study when and where it’s convenient for you, which is a huge draw — especially for adult learners. No matter where you live, as long as you have a reliable Internet connection, you can access your course materials and assignments. This opens up a whole new world of learning experiences and degree options for adult learners.”

You won’t have to cram into a small room, sit on stacking chairs and listen to a lecture at a certain time. With their program, you can do the courses from the comfort of your own home and that are uniquely created for the adult learner. Their degree programs are aligned with workforce needs and include areas such as healthcare, law enforcement, business and more.

New Adult Learning Opportunities in Manila

adult learning 5New adult learning opportunities are arising in Manila.  Each village is set to have its own alternative learning system for adult learners and youth who are not attending school.  This will happen if the local council passes the “Barangay (village) Alternative Learning System Ordinance,” instigated by Julienne Alyson Rae Medalla (fifth district councilor).  The ALS was established in 2001 under Republic Act 9155 as a ““parallel learning system to provide, viable, flexible and accessible learning opportunities to all out-of-school youth and adults in all villages across the country.” According to the Bureau of Alternative Learning System website, the ALS is the Department of Education’s free education program.  It is designed for people who cannot afford formal schooling where students need to attend 10 months/800 hours in the classroom with school furniture before they get their performance assessed.  So even if the schools are not fully equipped – and for example only have temporary furniture like folding tables and folding chairs – at least there will now be some opportunity that was missing in the past.  In addition, apart from giving the less-fortunate hope, it gives opportunities to school drop-outs, maids, industry-based workers, etc.

Meet Mary Roller of the Ivy Tech Cooperative

adult learning 3Mary Roller of Rushville, Indiana, has been working with adults and adult education since her graduation from college in 1978. At that time Mary went to work with seniors, helping to found Shelby Senior Services in Shelbyville, a non-profit organization. Mary stayed with them until 1985, when she married and had a child. Her break from the work-force lasted nine years.

When she returned to full-time employment in 1994 Mary became an educator with the Rush County Soil and Water District. She was concurrently a science teacher with the Rush County Schools at the elementary school level.

Mary made another career change in 2005 when she went to work for the Community Education Coalition in Connersville. After four years with the coalition Mary took on the job that she has today, manning the reception desk at the Ivy Tech Cooperative as the site manager.

Mary has always been determined to expand the horizons of people of every age and type. The way she sees it, education is a synonym for opportunity. Because of her unique and varied background Mary is uniquely positioned to help grow the local adult education program in Rushville, helping to make an impact on the next generation.

“It’s all about education. Everything I‘ve done has been about education in one form or another, and hopefully it is a process that we never stop. Life-long learning is just that, if we don’t learn we stagnate,” Mary said.

“There are so many more educational opportunities now. We have students as young as 17 and up to 73 currently enrolled. There is formal learning. There are informal learning credit classes, non-credit classes – thanks in large part to the internet,” she added.

Mary explained that she sees her job at Ivy Tech as helping people transition from being out of the world of education to getting back into it, even after many years.

“I often tell people in my office, that they have already made the most difficult decision about furthering their education, they walked through my door,” Mary said with a smile.

Los Angeles Bringing Back Adult Education After Years of Neglect

adult learning 2Years of budget cuts in California left behind an emaciated adult education program in Los Angeles. Now, as the economy is making a strong comeback, Los Angeles is planning on breathing new life into the adult education program provided by the LA Unified School system.

“We have to provide better adult learning opportunities,” said David Rattray, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce Development for the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. “For the business community and the economy to have the talent they need, and for young adults and adults in L.A. to have the opportunity they deserve.”

The fuel propelling the adult education program forward is $25 million worth of competitive state grants. The money is to be used to reorganize the dormant program, supplying whatever supplies LA Unified needs, including everything from teachers to new classrooms and even new school chairs.

Before the economic crisis LA offered a large number of adult classes in many areas, including English, getting a GED, or learning a trade. But over the past four years the budget for adult education was cut by 70%. The result was 300,000 fewer adults furthering their educations. Today there are about 100,000 students in the adult education program in LA at a cost of about $100 million.

All About Andragogy

Learn about Malcolm Knowles’ theory of androgogy, or adult learning. Whether the learning is done in a classroom, complete with school furniture, on a computer or while on-the-go, adults learn and absorb information differently than children. Knowles’ brought fourth six assumptions about adult learners:

Becoming a Lifelong Learner

adult learning 1Certainly, learning is supposed to be a lifelong process. Just because you aren’t in school anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t continue learning. And with the advent of the internet, there are so many great ways to learn today. Many of these learning suggestions don’t even require any money, while others require some. Here are some great suggestions for ways to get back into the learning groove and to expand your horizons whether you are 30 or 70.

  1. Check out your neighborhood colleges and see if they offer adult learning courses. Many universities and colleges will have classes that are specifically for adult learners. Other places will allow older learners to audit courses or to just sit in for fun.

  2. Distant learning – Today there are hundreds if not thousands of distant learning programs all around America. You can learn online by watching lectures, participating in chats and group discussions and much more.

  3. Podcasts – There are many videos on youtube and on private podcast channels that offer lectures and series. This site at http://gettingsmart.com/2013/02/50-educational-podcasts-you-should-check-out/ actually lists 50 educational podcasts that you may want to check out. This could keep you entertained, learning and enjoying for ages. Most of these are free of charge, allowing you to enhance your learning in the comfort of your home without paying anything.

We may not all have the time or energy to keep up our learning with our jobs and busy lives. But when  you do find yourself with extra time, there are certainly many learning opportunities for you at there.