Techniques Magazine Techniques February 2011 : Page 20

ADuLT EDuCATION AND RETRAINING An BY SuSAN REESE “ Education for All Seasons of Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st cen -tury,” author and humorist S.J. Perelman says with what is prob-ably a good deal of accuracy. With rapid-fire changes in technology and innovative new ideas emerging constantly, achieving success in today’s global workplace means making a commitment to the philosophy of lifelong learning. Career and technical education (CTE) programs that provide 21st century skills may begin in second -ary education, but they are not educating just high school students. Many adults are benefiting from these programs, often at one of our nation’s community colleges. According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in the fall of 2007, 11.8 million students were enrolled at 1,173 community colleges in the United States. That includes both full-time and part-time, and credit and non-credit students. Among those who have recognized the significant contribution community colleges have made to expand educational opportunities is Federal Reserve Chair -Techniques Februar y 2011 man Ben Bernanke. According to Bernan -ke, “Attendance at one of these institutions is associated with higher wages, even if a degree isn’t completed. Evidence suggests that each year of credit at a community college is worth almost as much, in terms of increased earning potential, as a year at a four-year college.” In the November 2009 issue of Govern-ing magazine, an article by Ventura, Cali-fornia, Mayor William Fulton is titled, “Community Colleges: Today’s Best Source for Job Training?” His answer to that question includes this: “The path Life to economic security, especially for the working class and children of immigrants, leads to a community college, where you can get a combination of academic educa -tion and technical training—life skills and job skills.” Fulton doesn’t see that path as just for the working class and immigrant families, however. “Academic learning still matters, but it’s not enough,” he notes. “To get a good job, a lot of people need a good technical education as well. They need to have practical, problem-solving knowledge that they can put to use in the real world.” 20

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