Continuing Education: An Alternate Route To Post-Secondary Learning

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    May 14, 2013
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Continuing Education: An Alternate Route To Post-Secondary Learning Photo by Jason White

Continuing Education is an ideal way for professionals with hectic schedules to upgrade their learning, for busy moms who can't get away from their home base to obtain a new skill set, for mature students who have been away from the education system but wish to obtain a post-secondary credential to make it happen and for anyone whose life may not allow them to study full-time to obtain an education. That's because this post-secondary option sees students studying in a variety of alternate ways.

For example, one popular Continuing Education option at Toronto's Centennial College - which sees nearly 22,000 students each year in over a hundred programs that feature more than twelve hundred courses and a very high degree of learner satisfaction — is online Distance Learning. Ideal for independent learners, all courses are facilitated online through a virtual classroom that students can access 24-hours a day. Industry-experienced instructors who use communication tools such as discussion boards and forums to create a classroom feel lead the courses. Students also interact with peers via email and partake in digital assignments. Among the programs at can be completed through this Continuing Education option are: Education Assistant, Business Writing, Medical Transcriptionist, Quality Assurance, Ophthalmic Medical Personnel and more.

A similar option to online Distance Learning is the Continuing Education School's Print-Based courses. Again, learners who are comfortable studying on their own will benefit from having course materials mailed to them to be completed in a specified amount of time. A facilitator is assigned to each student to assist him or her with his or her assignments. Then, once a student has completed all of his or her course work, final exams are completed on-campus.

The most traditional Continuing Education option is to attend classes on a part-time basis at one of Centennial College's four locations. Through this Continuing Education option, students can complete Motorcycle Rider Training, Business, Engineering Technology, Computers and Information Technology, Early Childhood Education, Food Service Worker, Media and Design, Part-time Health Studies, Retirement Communities Management/Long Term Care Management, Transportation, and more programs. All Continuing Education instructors take into account the mature students they are teaching and offer flexible, learner-centered teaching methodologies; provide practical hands-on knowledge to place relevant theory into context and perspective; recognize and respect both the level of maturity and work experience of students; and provide effective instructor to student ratio and an optimal classroom size enabling competent peer interaction.

The Continuing Education programs all have unique prerequisites and it's best to check each individual program's page to ensure that students have the necessary requirements to apply. It should also be noted that within certain programs there might be qualification requirements and costs for external accreditations, designations, certifications or recognitions. These are set by the granting bodies and not by Centennial College or its School of Continuing Education. In order to qualify for any of those external accreditations, designations, certification or recognition, students and graduates will need to follow the processes and meet the applicable requirements listed on the websites and materials of those external bodies.

Author's Profile

Jason, the author of this piece, describes how Continuing Education is structured at Centennial College.

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