What to Expect
For those who want to teach in the field of adult education, lifelong
learning is the name of the game.
"I never realized just what was involved in adult education," says Yvonne
Hurston. She is a former adult education student at Auburn University. "There
is a lot to learn and always new programs, approaches, strategies and techniques.
It keeps you wanting more."
Hurston hopes to teach adults at the high school level. "Adult education
is rewarding in so many ways," she says.
"The lecture and presentations are the best, the most interesting
part of the program," she says. "The most difficult thing is trying to keep
up with the changes in adult education."
Gary Grizzard got into adult education as part of a mid-life career change.
He didn't give up his job, though -- the course he took allowed him to work
full time and still complete his studies. But it wasn't easy.
"Working full time, I found budgeting and prioritizing my time to
be the most difficult aspect of the program," he says.
"But I like the flexibility of the program and the fact that instructors
take into account that you are a working professional."
Jacklyn Fortin was already an adult educator, but she took some graduate
classes to improve her skills.
She was most surprised by the workload in the graduate program.
She typically spent about three hours in classes and lectures and about six
hours working on assignments, reading or doing research. "I have become a
very good time manager," she says.
But the experience was worth it. "The networking with other students is
great," she says. "I've learned a lot from my courses and have been able to
apply it to my own classroom."
How to Prepare
Fortin recommends that anyone who is interested in adult education try
to get some exposure to it through volunteering.
"It might be a hard field for high school students to enter," she says.
Most of the students in her program were already working in the field.
Hurston agrees that volunteer work is important. "Start volunteer
work, such as tutoring. Observe your teachers and discuss techniques with
them. Volunteer to help teachers with their classes."