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Adult and Continuing Education

Adult and continuing education is education for adults which is not necessarily a university or college degree, diploma, or certificate program.

 There are many reasons for an adult to take education and training:

  • Personal or professional development
  • Upgrade or develop new job skills
  • Get further in your career
  • Start a new career

Adult education helps you in many areas, including: 

Continuing Education for Adults

Continuing education includes many post-secondary programs to help you reach personal or professional goals such as:

  • Degree or certificate credit courses
  • Non-degree career training
  • Workforce training
  • Formal personal enrichment courses, and more.

Meet with a counsellor from the school you plan to attend to learn more about:

  • A program or course
  • What skills you need to take the course
  • Whether the course is part time, full time, intensive over a short term like a weekend, online, or available by distance education
  • Student services
  • Programs for international students
  • Costs and financial help.

Before you choose a school, find out about the school’s reputation, and what others think about the school or course.  Find out more on Continuing Education at:

For more information about Adult Learning in Ontario see the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website. 

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

PLAR assesses and gives credit for the knowledge and skills you have already gained through life and work experience.  Most colleges, universities, and professional associations use PLAR to assess the skills and knowledge of people who want to attend. 

Organizations like WES also assess the schooling you had in other countries. You may need one of these assessments for work, education, and licensing applications.   

There are PLAR programs for adult students in secondary school courses, and PLAR programs for youth in high school.  Find out more at:

You must have some English skills to join certain programs.  Visit Learning English to find out more about English as a Second Language (ESL) or Enhanced Language Training (ELT) programs.

General Educational Development (GED) and Adult High School Equivalency (HSE) certificate

If you are an adult who did not finish high school in Ontario, you can get an Ontario HSE certificate through the GED program.

An HSE certificate may be necessary to join some college or university programs.  Talk to a counsellor at the school you plan to attend to find out if you need an HSE.

Find out more about GED and HSE at:

If you do not know what program would be best for you, talk to a counsellor from a local immigrant settlement organization, or a university or college you would like to attend. 

For more information…