Education has become an important aspect of the adult life nowadays. It is a common phenomenon in the contemporary world to see a good number of adults furthering their education due to their own reasons. By adults, I mean people who are already in the working sector and have families. They always pay for their own education and support themselves in any of the learning expenses. They are different from regular students who often have to depend on their parents for schooling expenses. Most of the adults taking college courses have specific goals they want to attain; their decisions to learn often affects various people around them.It is generally agreed that the higher the education, the higher the salary, better career opportunities and job security. Adults who take college courses expect certain changes in their lives, but most researches show that they want to advance their current jobs or re-train them for a different and better occupation. According to Chisman (2004), most companies nowadays want to increase their productivity, so they require their employees to advance their education so as to keep up with the ever-changing technology. Another fact is that employers nowadays pay salaries according to the level of education of an employee. As such, employees without post-secondary education are generally lowly paid than those with degrees. This makes the adults with no degrees to go back to college. On the other hand, there are other adults who go back to college just for the fun of it. Most of them usually have finished their family responsibilities; their children have probably finished their education and have moved out of the parents' houses. As such, they probably feel idle and need to do something; what better way than to go back to school.According to Boylan (2004), a college degree is a good future investment. It is important to note that it is not a must for adults to pursue a degree. They can opt for certificate programs and vocational training for their professional training and expertise. Most colleges and universities would agree with the fact that most of the adult learners are more focused than the average college student. They are more serious with their learning because they know what to attain from having the degree. They are more specific in their lessons than the average college students whose learning is designed to broaden their ideas and networks, and they do have extra classes that deviate from the main learning. Colleges often have to adjust the curriculum so as to suit the adults' schedule. Most of their classes are always fixed at more convenient hours for them to attend. This is besides the fact that their curriculum is often focused on offering them with exactly what is needed for their entire course. There are no extra classes.
It is a challenge for some adults to create time and commitment they need to complete the degree program they have enrolled to, and at the same time balance their responsibility. Chisman (2004) asserts that the student workload in the adult's college education is usually intense because they have shorter schedules than the regular students. They have limited time to be in class due to the fact that they spend the better part of the day in their work places. Information and assignments are all supposed to be covered in a shorter time period as compared to the regular students. The regular students have their classes well spaced and have a lot of free time for themselves, contrary to the adults who have cramped lessons. The studies carried by adult students are usually independent, that is, they do not entirely depend on the instructors' lessons, but are required to rely on various outside sources apart from those provided in the classroom. Actual contact with instructors is very minimal due to the fact that most of the communication is done online. They can contact their instructors through the e-mail.
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There are more benefits of an adult college education than to just an individual, their immediate families and the society they live in are also beneficiaries. Boylan (2004) explicates that most of the benefits though are likely to focus on the economic aspects of educational attainment more than the other aspects. Better pay, for example, means better healthcare for an individual and their families. The children of individuals who have gone for adult courses are more likely to go on to colleges than the rest whose parents have no degrees. The society also benefits in the sense that these adults tend to vote more wisely, hence bringing better governance to the country. They are more likely to contribute to charity because they have better pay, and to the government by paying more taxes. On the other hand several challenges also come along with adults taking college courses. One of them is that they take a longer time to complete their education. Statistics show that only half of them normally finish their courses in due time. This might be contributed by the fact that they learn at their own pace and are usually very busy at their places of work and hence they lack the time to study (Chisman, 2004). In conclusion, it is imperative to note that college courses for adults have more advantages than disadvantages. It has proved to be an improvement to the quality of the society at large. It is also an advantageous for the individuals themselves, their immediate families, the community, and the government at large. As such, the government and companies should take a leading role in aiding this type of education. More adults with minimal education should be given chances to get degrees so that they can improve their lives. Re-entry students are mostly understood to be female while men return to college just to update their professional skills and further career advancement. It is never too late to go back for studies. Some people would go back to college to start a degree program, return to finish one, seek a second degree or an advancement or personal satisfaction. Recent statistics show that adult students are the fastest growing category of students. Reports from the Associations for Non-traditional Students in Higher Education say that students over 25 years of age make up 47 percent of the student population. The good thing is that going to college has been made very easy. Colleges and universities offer re-entry student services and flexible course scheduling classes on the weekends. Students can complete their degree program online on the internet or computer multi-media, broadcast or through correspondence courses.