Ex. 4. Read and summarize the information from the text. Adult and Continuing Education The concept of continuing (or lifelong) education is of great importance to Americans. Every year, over 20 million Americans (that is, about ten percent of all adults) further their education through participation in part-time instruction. Some estimate that as many as 45 million adult Americans are currently taking courses in universities, colleges, professional associations, government organizations or even churches and synagogues. Most participants in continuing or adult education have a practical goal: they want to update and upgrade their job skills. As a result of economic changes and the rapid advance of the "information age," the necessity to acquire new occupational skills has increased. Adult education thus fills a need of many Americans who want to improve their chances in a changing job market. This is one explanation for the continuing growth of adult education classes over the past several years. Of course, not all people who take courses in adult education do this for job-related purposes. Many simply want to broaden their knowledge or learn something they would enjoy doing such as print-making, dancing, or photography.
Continuing education courses are provided mainly by community or junior colleges and mostly take place in the evenings. The types of courses adults enroll in range from hobby and recreational activities to highly specialized technical skills. Courses in business, health care and health sciences, engineering, and education are most popular. While some 50 percent of all people in adult education were enrolled in programs sponsored by educational institutions, about 15 percent were sponsored by business and industry. Over 80 percent of all companies today conduct their own training programs. Many large corporations offer complete degree programs, and some even support their own technical and business colleges and universities. In 1984, close to 6 million students were enrolled in industry-sponsored degree programs. It is estimated that some 8 million Americans are involved in corporate education of some kind.