- continuing education
n.a program of classes for adult students offered by a college, university, etc. on a part-time basis, as for updating knowledge and skills in a professional field such as medicine
* * *(AmE also continued education) n [U]education at any time during a person’s adult life. In Britain it is usually provided by Local Education Authorities and includes a great variety of courses in many different places. Courses are usually part-time and often take place in the evenings. They include cultural subjects, training in new technology, and skills for people with special needs. Many colleges and universities, especially in the US, have a department for adult education, often called the School (or Department) of Continuing Education.
* * *Any form of learning provided for adults.In the U.S. the University of Wisconsin was the first academic institution to offer such programs (1904). Empire College of the State University of New York was the first to be devoted exclusively to adult learning (1969). Continuing education includes such diverse methods as independent study; broadcast, videotape, online, and other forms of distance learning; group discussion and study circles; conferences, seminars, and workshops; and full-or part-time classroom study. Remedial programs, such as high-school equivalency and basic literacy programs, are common. In recent years the variety of subject matter has expanded greatly to include such topics as auto repair, retirement planning, and computer skills. See also Chautauqua movement.
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