Adult & Community Education
Adult & Community Education offers ‘learning courses designed for personal enrichment, skill development and professional learning’ [Tasmanian Department of Education]. These may be formal or informal, run by local communities or government agencies and cover everything from drawing to yoga, languages to dance, photography to massage, parenting to managing your finances. They cover leisure skills to life skills. Some can be used for professional purposes.
This page covers procedures and programs in each state & territory, government information, journals, publications, research, University of The Thirds Age [U3A] and other information.
It is not possible to list all providers but it should be possible to access many sources through the links below.
For a range of information, including activities and events around Australia, visit the Adult Learners’ Week website.
For related information, you should also consider information on the Vocational Education page.
States & Territories
Australian Capital Territory
- Adult and Community
Links to two major areas.
- Association of Providers of Training Services
‘Representing private and public vocational training providers in Canberra and the surrounding region’.
- The Centre for Short Courses [CSC]
‘Largest provider of recreational and work related short courses in the ACT’. CIT.
New South Wales
- Adult and Community Education, NSW [ACE]
Provider and organiser of adult and community education across NSW. A list of NSW Community Colleges, compiled by ACE is found here. Each listing has a link to the relevant website [where one exists], as well as other information.
- Community Colleges NSW
Listing of community colleges across NSW.
- NSW Adult Literacy & Numeracy Council
‘Representing teachers, workers and others interested in the field of adult literacy and numeracy in NSW. To promote awareness, understanding and cooperation amongst providers in the field of adult literacy, numeracy and adult learning’.
- Adult Learners’
Department of Business. Includes funding grants.
- Northern Territory Adult Literacy And Numeracy Best Practice : What do other people think ?
- Adult Community Education
Training Queensland. Overview, FAQs, Equity Blueprint, Adult Community Education Provider list, news, events, contact details, links.
- Investing in Skills
Training Queensland. Includes a section on community learning including a specific program.
- Communify Queensland
Community education from within the local community.
- Lifelong Learning Council Queensland [Inc]
‘Voluntary, non-government organisation with a membership drawn from the broad spectrum of adult and community learning and education in the public, private and community arenas. The Directory of Adult & Community Learning Database, has information about organisations, agencies and enterprises/businesses that provide courses and support’.
- Queensland Council for Adult Literacy
‘Promotes literacy as the key to effective life-long learning for all. Seeks to establish and maintain opportunities for adult members of the community to improve their literacy and numeracy skills’.
- About Adult
‘A community learning opportunity for people wanting to take part in learning and further training’ Overview, provider listing, links, more.
- Adult Community Education
Information for and about these.
- Community and Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association
‘Peak body for 80+ Community Centres and Neighbourhood Houses in South Australia’. Find a Community Centre, training, activities, resources, news, events, Capacity Building, more.
- South Australian Council for Adult Literacy
‘Assists in the development and promotion of language, literacy and numeracy practices, services and resources’.
- DFEEST’s Strategic Directions
Access their DFEEST Strategic Directions 2013-2016 here [PDF]. Access Regional Strategic Plans and previous plans.
- TAFE Short Courses
Many opportunities in Adult & Community Education can come through the TAFE system.
- WEA of South Australia
‘Providing adults with learning opportunities for both vocational and personal advantage. Publishes five Course Guides each year’.
- Adult Education LINC Tasmania
Information about courses, by subject or region. Find Centres across Tasmania [online or in person]. Includes links to the following :
- Adult Learners’ Week
Information about this week is posted nearer the time.
- Get Help
With Reading, Writing and Maths.
- Skills Tasmania - Learners
Overview, links to sites and topics from left hand menu.
- ACE VIC
‘Victoria’s peak policy, industrial and development body for the Adult Community Education sector’.
Adult and Community Education Colleges in Other Areas of Victoria
- Campaspe College of Adult Education
Echuca and into adjacent areas of NSW.
- Shepparton ACE College
- The Centre
Wangaratta and Benalla.
- The Laurels, Bacchus Marsh Adult Education Centre
- Wimmera HUB
- Adult, Community and Further Education
Overview, structure, links to AMES, CAE and Learn Local [see below], Regional Councils, more.
‘Works with new arrivals but also with the community, business and Government’.
- Association of Neighbourhood Houses & Learning Centres
Find a House, news, resources what’s on, media, more.
- Centre for Adult Education
‘Provides learning to the Victorian community through a wide range of programs and services’.
- Community Colleges
Scroll down to the Victorian section for colleges linked to Community Colleges Australia. Each has a website where available plus other details.
- Learn Local
‘Offer a range of education and training programs designed to meet your learning needs. There’s a government registered Learn Local in your community that can help you return to study, improve your reading, writing and maths skills, gain a qualification, get a job or learn something new’. Find a Learn Local here.
- Learn Local Awards
‘Held annually to recognise the inspirational efforts of learners, practitioners and training providers in the Learn Local sector’.
Other Adult and Community Education Centres
- Monash Short Courses Centre
‘Our courses are open to all, not just to Monash students and staff. Our Centre includes a variety of specialist facilities’. Access their Online Courses.
- Victorian Skills Gateway
‘Searches can be performed on occupations, courses, training providers, video and written case studies’. Separate section for Adult Learners.
‘Engage in learning, Explore’.
- Community Based Courses
Department of Education Services. Information about Standards and Guidelines and Applications for Endorsement. There is a List of Community based courses available from the site.
- Community Learning
Department of Training & Workforce Development. Community learning, Adult and Community Education, Computer Skills, Literacy, links, more. Of value would be their Course Search.
‘State association for Community & Development Centres in Western Australia’. Find a Member Centre here. Use the Search Engine or the A-Z listing.
- UWA Extension
University of Western Australia. ‘A leading provider of lifelong learning opportunities in a diverse range of community, workplace and professional education’.
- Adult Learners’ Week
‘Part of an international festival of adult learning. Adult Learners’ Week also provides an opportunity for informed discussion about the current provision of adult learning in Australia’.
‘Describes a range of new services for job seekers and workers aged 45 years and over and their employers’.
‘Multilingual learning resources for emerging communities’. Introduction, Find a Course, Resources, Index, Languages. Site available in multiple languages.
‘Key information about Australian adult literacy activities and links to additional program, professional development, resource and research sites’.
- Reading and Writing Hotline
‘Australia’s national telephone adult literacy and numeracy referral service’.
- TILT : Tap into Learning Today
‘Designed to help share information and communication tools vital to the success of lifelong learning programs and initiatives’. Information for learners, service providers, others.
[Australian Council for Adult Literacy]
‘Supporting literacy and numeracy education for adults’. Their Links page is worthwhile.
- Adult Learning Australia
News, features, publications, events, links, more.
- Australian Neighbourhood Houses & Centres Association [ANHCA]
‘Represents nationally over 1 000 Neighbourhood Houses, Community Houses, Learning Centres, Neighbourhood Centres and Community Centres’.
- AVETRA - Useful Links
‘Designed to help researchers find information they need. Links from both Australia and overseas’.
- BBC - Skillswise
Some areas are peculiar to the UK [e.g. courses, etc.]. Others could be of value. Literacy and numeracy. BBC quality.
- Excellence Gateway [UK]
‘Provides thousands of examples of effective practice and support documents to help develop your knowledge and skills which are free to review and download. Material from learning and skills organisers and leading online resources also available’.
- Free Resources [National Centre for Families Learning]
‘Whether you’re a parent, an educator or a volunteer, we have plenty of resources in our arsenal to help you fight illiteracy in your community’. USA.
- Learning Communities Catalyst
‘Learning Communities are groups of people - in towns, around centres, or in interest groups - who work toward making lifelong learning possible for everyone’.
Irish National Adult Literacy Agency. ‘Literacytools is for adults who would like to improve their spelling, reading and numeracy skills’.
- Year Book Australia, 2012
Education. Australian Bureau of Statistics.
- New Zealand Literacy Portal
‘Designed to provide a knowledge base of adult literacy information contributed by both New Zealand and international organisations’.
Reports & Research
- Alternative Education and Transition Pathways for Early School-leavers
2013, Megan Price, Boystown. ‘Examine[s] the tangible and intangible 12 month outcomes achieved by disadvantaged young people participating in an alternative learning program in regional Australia’.
- Does 1 = 1 ? Mapping measures of adult literacy and numeracy
2013, Leanne Calvitto, Michelle Circelli, Mark Dulhunty, Shelley Gillis, Margaret Wu. ‘Measuring literacy and numeracy proficiency and any changes in the level of skill are important in getting a sense of how well language, literacy and numeracy programs are working’.
- How learning English facilitates integration for Adult Migrants
The Jarrah Language Centre experience2012, Megan Leith, NCVER. ‘The authors look at how undertaking an English as a second language [ESL] class helps to facilitate integration into Australian society’.
- Learning About Social Inclusion from Adult Students in Rural
2014, Jillian Marchant. ‘Explores the experiences of being included and/or excluded from the social life of their communities for a small number of adult students residing in rural South Australia’.
- Literacy and Numeracy Skills and
Labour Market Outcomes in Australia
2014, Anthony Shomos, Matthew Forbes, Productivity Commission. ‘Analyses the profile of adult literacy and numeracy skills in Australia, and how important those skills are for labour market outcomes’.
National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults
2012, COAG Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. ‘The National Strategy focuses on improving outcomes for working age Australians [aged 15-64 years] with a view to moving more people to higher levels, but with a particular focus on those with low levels of foundation skill proficiency’.
- Programme for the International
Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-12
2013, Australian Bureau of Statistics. ‘Includes information about the competencies of Australians in the domains of literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills in technology-rich environments. These competencies are reported by educational attainment, labour force status and other characteristics’.
- Studying beyond age 25 : who does it and what do they gain ?
2012, Michael Coelli, Rezida Zakirova, Domenico Tabasso. ‘The authors investigate what motivates people to undertake education and training at more mature ages and the impact of this on their labour market outcomes’.
- The Ageing Population
2014, ALA. ‘Suggests that the Adult and Community Education sector in Australia has already provided an important means of ensuring that adults can maintain skills, knowledge and wellbeing into their senior years’.
- The Role of Adult & Community
Education in Regional and Rural Australia
2013, Adult learning Australia. ‘This paper suggests that Adult and Community Education [ACE] is critically important in addressing access and equity beyond the metropolis in Australia’.
- Adult Refugee Learners with
Limited Literacy : Needs and Effective Responses
2014, John Benseman, Refuge. ‘this study provides a systematic documentation of their distinctive needs as well as effective educational strategies for use with these learners. The study involved interviews with 36 adult refugees, two program coordinators, five course teachers, and six bilingual tutors from a community-based program in New Zealand’.
- A Golden Age for Adult Education : The Collective Disorienting
2011, Susan Johnston, College Quarterly. ‘Examines the historic nature of adult education and the unique opportunity presented to adult educators presented by the rapidity of contemporary culture and the stunning nature of current events’.
- Continuous Education Of Older
Employees : Cost Or Benefit ?
2012, Jana Jana Žnidaršič. ‘The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of continuous education of older employees and benefits that life-long learning brings to a company’.
- Education decisions of employed
persons : The influence of Adult Education Vouchers
20 , Erik Haberzeth, Claudia Kulmus, ESREA Conference Proceedings. Vouchers were ‘intended to increase the demand for continuing education by reducing its direct costs for the individuals. The purpose of this paper is to determine how adults use vouchers and what influence vouchers have on decisions on participation in continuing vocational training. ’. This link gives access to a range of other conference reports.
- Open Education 2030 : planning the future of
adult learning in Europe
2013, Jonatan Castaño Muñoz, Christine Redecker, Riina Vuorikari, Yves Punie, Open Learning. ‘Presents the first results of a foresight activity that aims to contribute to an understanding of how ‘Opening up Education’ can improve adult learning in Europe in the future’.
- Shift of Adult Education Research
2013, Bo Chang, AERC Conference Proceedings. ‘Analyses the main features of adult education research and research methods from the 1950s to the early 2000s and their implications for adult education research in the future’.
- SWOT study on the development of Chinese adult
2014, Wang, Xiaoping. ‘Analysed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the adult education adopting SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats] strategy’.
- Technology in Adult Education ESOL Classes
2011, Nancy Ball, Journal of Adult Education. ‘Examines advantages of technology use and offers examples of successful classroom implementation’.
- Understanding Reading for Pleasure for Emerging Adult
2013, Samantha Duncan, NRDC [UK].‘New research into reading for pleasure in the context of adult reading groups of emerging readers. The research, …, has enabled us to ask what reading for pleasure means, what people gain from reading and why they might benefit from reading in groups’.
- Valuing the impact of Adult
Learning : an Analysis of the effect of Adult Learning on different domains in life
2012, Daniel Fujiwara, NIACE, UK. ‘Works towards providing the evidence to support the case for protecting adult learning and illustrates the true impact of the policy of investing in community learning. The impact that adult learning has on four different areas in life is assessed’.
Universities of The Third Age
- U3A Australian Capital Territory
- U3A Brisbane
- U3A Darwin
- U3A Hobart
- U3A Sunshine Coast
- U3A [UWA]
- U3A Network New South Wales
- U3A Network Victoria
- University of The Third Age
All branches of the University of the Third Age in Australia.
- University of the Third Age, South Australia
Access most of the U3As in South Australia, find courses, other links.