In U.S.A, various types of institutions provide adult education. Universities, junior colleges, labour institutions, correspondence educational institutions, adult education community projects and such other institutions are engaged in the task of providing adult education.
(1) Universities and Adult Education:
Universities provide education of the highest level. Adults who are keen on higher education receive higher education the rough universities. These universities are run by the State or public. Community institutions also contribute in their establishment.
These universities occupy an important place in the adult education system. By 1992 there were about 250 university institutions and about 8 million adults received higher education in those institutions. New York University has got an important place in the sphere of adult education.
New York University:
New York University is a representative institution for adult education system of U.S.A. Department of General Education organises adult education here. Fees are charged but certain departments such as industrial firms which send their employees for adult education pay full fees or part of it.
Both vocational and general educations are given in these universities. Examinations are held after the completion of the course.
But there is no compulsion for appearing in the examination. No certificate is awarded after passing the examination.
Adult education programme may be classified into two types of courses:-
(i) Cultural Study.
(ii) Vocational Training.
The cultural course includes foreign languages, literature, philosophy of life, etc. and the vocational training course provides training in painting, typing, printing, electroplating, radio and television. Repairing and practical work are also done during training.
Although there is a provision for multipurpose vocational training, yet not more than 40 per cent adults take part in them. Compared to cultural study, vocational training programme is more tiresome and hard.
The provision of vocational, technical and craft subjects makes the curriculum of these schools truly utilitarian. Any adult, besides subjects of cultural study, may offer any of the vocational subjects, such as book designing, book binding, drawing and painting, printing, ink production, book publication, calligraphy, typography and lithography.
Department of General Education of the New York University is very important from the view point of adult education. The programmes related to labour; industry and specialisation are given an important place in this department.
The department of labour acquaints the labourers with the history of labour, aims and philosophy and various other labour problems. Their relationship with the state, society, and country on the basis of labour is also explained to them.
In the field of industry, provisions exist for industrial and vocational training according to their posts. Persons are trained for the post of instructor, supervisor and foreman. Many industrial units of New York send their labourers and other persons eligible for posts for training here and pay their tuition fees.
At the request and suggestions of industrial concerns, arrangements for training of their labourers and personnel are made from time to time. In 1992, 5000 adults, between the ages of 20 to 50 years studied here. 20 per cent adults had received education upto Graduate and Post-Graduate level.
This University has become famous for education in accountancy, law and taxation. Teaching is arranged for these subjects under the guidance of reputed persons in the subjects concerned.
In the universities of U.S.A, good arrangement has been made for teaching the adults for degree courses. Nearly 75 to 80 universities and institutions of higher education train the adults in a wide curriculum. Besides these, there are ‘credit and non-credit’ educational institutions which provide education through correspondence.
(2) Correspondence Adult Education Institutions:
Adults, who cannot go to schools for some reason, receive education through correspondence. There are about 3000 such institutions in U.S.A Besides these, there are about 500 universities, colleges and institutions of higher learning which direct and guide through correspondence.
Scranton (Pennsylvania) International Correspondence School is the most extensive and famous school which distributes about 9000 question-answer booklets daily and has educated more the “fifteen million adults during the last 80 years through correspondence. This method is very popular in U.S.A Pamphlets are published by subject specialists.
Correspondence education system adds to the specific ability of some persons and helps in the satisfaction of hunger for learning in many others. For some, it fulfils their educational aims and for others it is a source of recreation. This method provides facilities of education from high literary education to domestic general education.
(3) Night Adult Schools and Education:
These schools provide educational opportunities to persons engaged in vocations and earning their livelihood. These institutions, run by collective and individual efforts, have adopted the form of community centres These centres manage successfully the teaching of all subjects from primary to higher education, such as vocational, commercial, literary, cultural, recreational, domestic, etc. These night schools make arrangements for training according to local needs.
(4) Junior Colleges and Adult Education:
In the United States of America, Junior College System is the contribution of re-oriented curriculum. In this system, the teaching of first two years of higher education is done in Junior Colleges. During these two years, provision of education, based on most recent nature of national needs and traditions, has been made.
These colleges are very important in the Evening Teaching System. They are also community centres like Night Schools. These colleges have become so important that the number of students in the Evening Education System is more than in the day school system.
A survey of evening education in the town of Modesto has revealed that one-third of the total adult population which was nearly 8000 took part in the educational programmes of Junior Colleges. Similarly, there was difference in the day courses; the number was 30,000 in evening classes.
The junior college systems have helped the expansion of adult education to a great extent. The number of such colleges is about 900. In these colleges all the social, cultural and vocational subjects are taught.
(5) Labour Unions and Adult Education:
In U.S.A. Adult Education System is not run by social institutions only. Labour Unions also have established various schools and colleges for labourers to take benefit of adult education. These schools, too, provide all types of vocational, commercial and general education.
In 1921, the American- Federation of Labour established Workers Education Bureau for adult education. The American Labour Education Service supplemented it. The famous industrialist, motor-car manufacturer, Henry Ford extended much co-operation in this direction.
He created Ford Foundation Fund for adult education and made the education system financially sound. Along with it, he offered all financial assistance for the implementation of the curriculum modified by the labourers according to their needs in 1930 and this was implemented in many industrial towns.
The labour unions have been holding seminars and meetings at adult education centres for intensive study and performing other functions such as publication of books and reading materials, etc.
These institutions have been organising education programmes for educating the labourers in specific technical changes, social security’s, labour rules and legislations, international trade, etc.
(6) Adult Education Community Projects and Their Organisation:
United States of America impressed by the adult education programmes of schools and other education institutions prepared Adult Education Community Projects and established community Adult Education Councils at different places with the view to run these projects according to local needs.
The main function of these Councils has been there planning of projects according to the interests and needs of the time after a careful study of local needs and interests. The members of these councils are elected representatives or leaders of non- educational or semi-educational institutions.
Mode of Working:
Community development educational projects are generally inspired by local education officer, public-library presidents, and influenza community leaders. Inspired by these persons, any person who is interested in adult education and possesses qualities of leadership, prepares general outlines of community programme for adult education after collecting community members interested in educational programmes.
He presents his recommendations on the draft about the local needs after ascertaining the needs of the local people.
After this, other dignitaries are invited and a council is formed on the basis of majority votes or unanimously. This council, then, prepares community education projects according to the need of the local people.
In some places, the education superintendents with the co-operation of elected members and leaders of various institutions, prepare the general outline of the project and constitute the council by nominating its members.
These members help in the development of adult education through their efforts for the implementation of the projects.
In the mid west area of Iowa, the community education projects have been conducted through recreational programmes for the last 55 years. Although they are organised on a small scale, yet they are very popular because of their utility.
In some small towns educational projects are run with the help of as small a number as 40 citizens only, out of which 20 belong to the agricultural areas. Education superintendent, education board and adult education council co-operate from time to time. Small communities in American states follow this method.
In the Olivet city of Michigan State, the community education projects have been organised successfully since 1946. Subject’s specialists co-operate sufficiently in the implementation of projects. The custom of charging fees equal to the expenditure on teaching material is a fine example of economic justice.
Community projects of adult education are multi-purpose and extensive. The following subjects get priority in these projects:—
(1) Education for doing creative work with interest and recreation.
(2) Education for technical changes according to changed social needs.
(3) Education for the contemporary problems of American states, country and the world.
(4) Education of the disabled persons and of special communities.
(5) Professional education and training.
(6) Education for the labourers and labour education.
(7) Civil security education.
(8) Education for posts and promotions.
(9) Home-development and worthy home-membership education.