Techniques Magazine Techniques February 2011 : Page 6

L EADING E DGE CTE and Adult Education “HE IS A pROFESSIONAL WELDER!” That was Techniques M A N AG IN G E D IT O R N. Susan Emeagwali / semeagwali@acteonline.org what one of my adult students whispered to me, referring to another student, on the first night of an adult weld-ing class I was teaching. I wondered why a professional welder would be taking my basic welding course. During the third week of class I concluded this gentleman was indeed a professional welder because of his skill in welding vertically. During a class break, I asked if he was a profes -sional welder and the response was “Yes.” My next question was: “Why are you taking this course?” I will reveal his an -swer later on. With the current economic situation, career and technical education (CTE) is experiencing a booming demand for adult education. Many one-and two-year Gary Moore postsecondary programs have experienced a 15 to 25 percent increase in enrollments during the past two years, with most of the students being adults. There are several reasons for this enrollment growth: • Many adults have lost their jobs and are looking to gain new skills so they can enter new careers. • Graduates of four-year colleges may have a well-rounded classical education but no specific job skills, so they are now trying to obtain marketable job skills. • Some individuals take adult education courses to stay updated about new and emerging techniques in their field. • Some students have vocational interests and take courses in areas such as horticulture, computer applications or culinary arts for their own enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Regardless of the reason adults have for enrolling in classes, teachers of adults need to be aware of the learning characteristics of the adult learner. Adults are more self-directed than high school students, want to see immediate application of what they learn, have years of experience to draw on, have established values and opinions and expect to be treated as adults. Teaching adults can be enjoyable. During my years as a high school agriculture teacher, I taught high school students during the day, but also conducted night classes for adults. I typically taught between 20 and 25 adult classes in a year. Adults were willing, eager learners and appreciated your efforts. There were two reasons the professional welder was enrolled in my basic welding class. He thought a refresher might be good and he might pick up some new ideas. The second reason was that he had a friend who wanted to take the course but the friend lacked self confidence; so the welder was taking the course to help his friend. I asked the welder if he would help me teach the class and had him co-sign the certificates of completion at the end of the course. He appreciated the fact that I recognized his skill and expertise and put him in a position of shared responsibility. In this issue of Techniques we look at what CTE is doing to meet the needs of the adult learner, and how we can offer quality instruction to these students. A C T E S TA F F C ONT R I B U T O RS Jamie Baxter / jbaxter@acteonline.org Alisha Hyslop / ahyslop@acteonline.org Catherine Imperatore / cimperatore@acteonline.org DE S I G NE R Kelly Jenkins / kjenkins@acteonline.org A DV E R T I S I N G AC C O U N T S A L E S R E P Tom Minich / tstellar@telenet.net Mel Katz / melkatz@verizon.com A D V E R T I SIN G C O O R D IN AT O R Jim Waterhouse, Techniques Magazine 1410 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Phone: 800-826-9972 ext. 332 Fax: 703-683-7424 E-mail: techniques@acteonline.org, www.acteonline.org. D E PU T Y E X E CU T IV E D I R E C T O R Peter Magnuson / pmagnuson@acteonline.org P U B L IS H ER Association for Career and Technical Education acte@acteonline.org Janet B. Bray, Executive Director jbray@acteonline.org H O W T O C O N TA C T A C T E Call 800-826-9972 M E M B ER S H I P S ER V I C E S Techniques magazine is just one of the benefits of joining ACTE. Call 800-826-9972 or visit www.acteonline.org/ join.aspx to learn more. T E C HN IQ U E S E D I T O R I A L Contact Susan Emeagwali by phone at 703-683-9339 or by e-mail at semeagwali@acteonline.org. To submit letters to the editor or to send article queries or manuscripts, e-mail to techniques@acteonline.org, or mail to Editor, Techniques , 1410 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Information on writing for Tech-niques is available at www.acteonline.org/techniques.aspx. REPRINTS, COPY PERMISSION, B AC K I S SU E S ACTE members seeking permission to copy limited quantities of articles from Techniques , please contact or fax your request to Andrea Wilson at 800-826-9972, awilson@acteonline.org, or fax 703-683-7424. For nonmembers and large quantity copy permis-sion requests, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center, 978-750-8400. For bulk reprints, please contact IPA Publishing Services at 800-259-0470. For back issues, please contact ACTE member services at 800-826-9972. Members may access the contents of all issues of Techniques from September 2002 forward, on the ACTE Web site, www.acteonline.org. Online access is subject to prevailing copyright protections and prior written permission from ACTE is required for all reprints and copies. Members can request an additional copy of Techniques for missing, lost or damaged copies, but fulfillment of this request cannot be guaranteed after 90 days from issue date. Copyright 2011 by the Association for Career and Technical Education Inc. The views expressed by Techniques do not neces-sarily represent an official position of ACTE. Acceptance of ads for publication in the magazine does not imply endorsement of advertised products by the association. Gary Moore, ACTE President 6 Techniques Februar y 2011 www.acteonline.org

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