Continuing Education Offers Learning Alternatives

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    Mar 12, 2013
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Continuing Education Offers Learning Alternatives Photo by Jason White

Long gone are the days when the only way to obtain a post-secondary education was attending classes on-campus, five times a week. Today, with the multiple options allowed by continuing education, those looking to change careers, update their existing skills or augment new skills to launch a new career path, will find a course or program that will help them to reach their goals. Through continuing education, students enroll in post-secondary, credit-granting courses that are taught in one of three ways: on-campus through a part-time delivery, through print-based correspondence or online in a virtual classroom. Let's look at each option in more detail by examining Centennial College's School of Continuing Education, which sees nearly 22,000 learners each year in 160 programs that feature more than 1,200 courses and a 97 per cent learner satisfaction.

One of the most popular Continuing Education options at Centennial College is attending part-time courses during the evenings and weekends. This provides students with the benefits of attending class, partaking in lectures, getting hands-on experience through case studies, lab work, field trips and more. This option is ideal for those who enjoy classroom discussions, projects or who are visual learners. It is also worth noting that the part-time Continuing Education program instructors are trained to understand adult learning needs 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. Among the continuing education areas of study are: Business, Computers and Information Technology, Early Childhood Education, Engineering Technology, Food Service Worker, Media and Design, Part-time Health Studies, Retirement Communities Management/Long Term Care Management, Transportation, and more.

Meanwhile, the Distance Learning options (online and print) are more geared towards learners who enjoy independent study without the hands-on aspects of attending class. The first of these two options is delivered in an online format that allows students to study from virtually anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, as they have access to their online classroom 24 hour a day. Additionally, to offer a sense of a classroom, email exchanges between students and instructors as well as online discussions are common. The final of the Continuing Education options at Centennial College is the Print-Based format. This final alternative is great for those who may not have access to a computer or feel more comfortable not having to deal with technology. Typically completed within a six-month time frame, students are sent all of their materials after registering for their program.

In most cases both online and print-based delivery methods require that students write an in-person continuing education final exam on campus.

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In this article, Klaudia offers information on the School of Continuing Education at Centennial College, which is geared towards mature students or those wanting to advance their careers.

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