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Continuing Education: Night School for Adults

When choosing a continuing education class, it is important to determine what type of program is best suited to your needs and to your personality. Adult continuing education programs can comprise of either night school or online education classes. Night school for adults poses many benefits which adult students find conducive to their unique needs as students; however, there are also certain disadvantages linked to night school programs that you should consider, particularly when compared to distance learning programs. But what exactly are the benefits and disadvantages of night school for adults and how do these compare to online education?

Benefits of Night School Continuing Education Classes

Night school is a good option for adults interested in earning a degree or certificate and who are also currently employed; according to a recent study, 54% of employed adults were enrolled in an education program, compared with 25% of unemployed adults. As such, night classes present a flexible option for adults interested in continuing education in order to advance their current career or to pursue a different one, since classes are held after regular office hours.

Choosing night school continuing education programs also has certain advantages when it comes to providing support for the adult learner. Some colleges and universities also offer weekend classes in addition to night classes, making this type of higher education program a good fit for adult learners interested in career training.

The quality of instruction provided by night school programs is furthermore comparable to that of regular day class programs, as is the level of guidance that they provide. For example, adults enrolled in night classes have the same opportunities to meet with their professors and also have access to campus resources. Night school students also have the opportunity to meet with other students, an important social component to the continuing education experience.

Disadvantages of Night School Classes

There are certain disadvantages linked to night classes that you should be aware when considering this type of continuing education program.

One such disadvantage is that most adult students enroll as part-time students, meaning that it will take longer to complete a program compared to a distance learning program. In addition, you may find that after a full day's work, you will feel fatigued, making class participation difficult.

Night Classes versus Online Classes

When deciding between night classes and online classes, it is important to take into consideration what is most important to you as a student, along with your personality type.

Night class programs are generally better suited for individuals who prefer academic support and to whom the social aspects of school are important.

The advantages and disadvantages of online learning are also important to consider. Online classes can be more flexible and convenient than night classes, as the student can log in at any time and from any location; this can make balancing family and school easier for the adult student. In addition, most adults who enroll in distance education programs do so as full time students, meaning that they can finish their degree faster compared to adults enrolled in night classes. Also, online programs do not limit you to local schools.

Online classes can, however, be more isolating than night class programs and are also generally less suited for individuals who have a tendency towards procrastination or who have trouble staying self-motivated. As such, online classes are better suited for the adult student with a hectic schedule who is also self-disciplined.

Another option when choosing a continuing education program is choosing schools that combine online classes and night classes. Some schools allow students to combine online and night classes within the program of study, while some offer single classes that are a combination of the two. However, this type of program would require that you enroll in a local school.

When deciding on which program is right for you, be sure that the school is accredited and always speak with an admissions counselor.


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