What does a Council of Adult Education do?

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  • Written By: Florence J. Tipton
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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A council of adult education is generally a group that promotes adult learning opportunities. Through work as a public policy advocate, the council of adult education may attempt to influence policy decisions that create barriers to adult education courses. The council of adult education might also assist with providing resources to develop a curriculum suitable for adult learning. The council may also provide adult education support for individuals to ensure successful completion of courses and education programs.

Most adult learners share similar characteristics that may determine whether an educational program is completed. In general, an adult learner enters an academic institution shaped by life experiences different from people who pursue educational opportunities earlier in life. As a result, the adult learner might need more resources that consider those experiences.

Most functions of a council of adult education seek to merge these characteristics with the structure of adult education programs. By developing partnerships with various organizations, the council typically works to ensure education courses fit the needs of adult learners. This may include the structure of the program and its relevance to adult professional and personal goals.

To fulfill its mission of promoting lifelong learning, a council of adult education might have several functions. The actual functions might vary based on region, but typically center on enhancing the quality of adult education courses. One function could be staying abreast of changes in public policy that might restrict the progress of adult learners.


Often, the council might help with developing curricula and resources that serve to enrich the adult learning experience. Usually, the council accomplishes this function through partnerships with organizations involved in adult learning. Providing adult education support is another function that might remove barriers to learning opportunities.

When the role of a council of adult education requires advocacy, the group works to change public policy or private policy that may hinder adult education. The council of adult education might lobby to change those policies. Working with community organizations, universities or companies, the council typically represents the adult learner to address the educational needs in those settings.

The council may provide resources and consultation to organizations that offer some form of adult education courses. Generally, some councils of adult education might provide guidance to develop curricula conducive for the adult learner. This might also include literacy programs in some regions that have a high illiteracy rate among adults.

Cultivating partnerships with organizations may strengthen the council’s role in shaping education programs. Partnerships may exist with academic institutions. Other partnerships might be with companies that offer continuing education opportunities for employees. A council might also partner with community organizations and workforce agencies that offer adult education and training.

Supportive services provided by the council of adult education try to guarantee a successful learning experience. With adult education support, the council typically strives to remove any barrier to the learning experience. These services usually help adults embrace lifelong learning opportunities and envision success.


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