It’s Never Too Late to Learn

Some time ago when I was teaching an adult continuing-education class on computer usage, one of my students (who was probably in her mid-30s) asked me to sign a document stating that she had successfully completed the course. The intent was to ensure her employer that she had indeed learned new skills required for a job position. Since then, as an instructor of adult-ed photography, I have met a number of students who have a desire to enhance their current professional skill set and even change careers! At the same time, I have instructed other folks who simply want to feed their passion for a specific interest.

Whatever dream they’re pursuing, adults can attend a wide variety of highly acclaimed, higher learning institutions here in the Finger Lakes Region. Two colleges that are particularly continuing-ed friendly and that provide the most classes in adult education are Monroe Community College (MCC) and Nazareth College, both in Rochester.

MCC’s Brighton Campus offers a plethora of programs that guide inspired adults onto a path of enriched learning opportunities. Often in cooperation with Rochester Works, Monroe County’s largest employment and training initiative, MCC helps adult learners become fully aware of their career-oriented capabilities. Great counselors such as MCC’s Betty Smith guide students down on avenues of higher education that best tap the student’s full potential. A carefully constructed placement survey helps a student whittle down his career focus to the most appropriate choice.

The college also offers a variety of introductory workshops designed to prepare students for the educational adventures that lie ahead. One workshop provides introductory information, while others offer tips on how to best manage time, improve study habits and take notes.

In addition to the Brighton Campus, MCC provides off-campus instruction and online learning programs. Its unique “Fast Track” program is a series of courses specifically designed to allow students to earn some degrees in a shorter-than-normal time period.

Funding opportunities also exist. For additional information, go to I would also encourage interested people to call Betty Smith at the Counseling Center at 585-292-2030. Afterward, instead of asking yourself “What courses should I take?” you are more likely to ask, “How soon can I start?”

While you will surely be overwhelmed by the architectural charm of Nazareth College, you will be even more pleased with the wonderful staff, highly acclaimed faculty and great academic programs available to adult learners.

With respect to your present career, perhaps you would like to increase your leadership skills or build upon your current job skill set. One way to achieve this might be through Nazareth’s “advanced certificate programs.” They offer course work in the areas of instructional technology, piano pedagogy, play therapy, nurse educator and critical urban and community education. The intention of these certificate programs is to support career advancement with skills obtained from experts in their field. They also help learners eventually enter a master’s degree program if desired.

The intellectually curious student can pursue the Master’s of Arts in Liberal Studies degree program, built around a prescribed core and including various electives.

Are you ready for a big challenge? Is a career change in your future? Nazareth’s School Of Education offers students the course work and training needed to become an early childhood, childhood, secondary or Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) teacher. With all of the course work (including student teaching at the master’s level), students can complete the program while attending on a full or part-time basis.

To obtain more detailed information regarding the program offerings and admission procedure at Nazareth College, visit
To view a list of higher education institutions in the Finger Lakes Region, please see pages 42 and 43.

Retired teacher Ron Stochl instructs digital photography classes in the Rush Henrietta and Gates Chili Continuing Education Programs. He and his wife Collette also run a professional photography business specializing in wedding photography and senior portraits. For more information, visit

by Ron Stochl

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