Lifelong Learning Resources in Western MA

Adult Education and Lifelong Learning Resources in Western MA

It’s back to school season for many. Some families are buying school supplies and adjusting to new schedules. Autumn is a time for learning, no matter your age. Western Massachusetts is home to many resource centers for adult education, often providing classes on topics related to workplace readiness and self-directed interests. Courses tend to be highly individualized, and focused on helping students reach their professional and personal goals. There are also subject-specific opportunities for learning about everything from mathematics to photography to bicycle repair! 

LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAMS/CENTERS

Northern Berkshire Adult Basic Education
Northern Berkshire Adult Basic Education is a program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. This program which helps adult learners of the area reach their personal, academic goals. Classes are held in Adams, North Adams, and Williamstown. Students must be at least 16 years old and officially withdrawn from school. The academic year consists of 32 weeks of classes from September through May, though students can enroll at any time. For more information, visit the NBAEC website or call 413-662-5330. North Berkshire County.

Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center
SHAEC provides adult learners with individualized education in areas such as math, science, reading, writing, social studies, and computers. SHAEC supports community members’ career goals through teaching workplace skills, and providing courses in GED/High School Equivalency Test preparation. All Courses are free for Hilltown residents. 413-685-1052. 12 Littleville Road. Hilltowns.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
OLLI at Berkshire Community College (BCC) in Pittsfield is a member-run organization that provides exciting learning, social and volunteer opportunities in the Berkshires and beyond. With over over 1,000 members, OLLI offers over 80 educational programs a year designed especially by and for lifelong learners.  Classes often offered support interests in theatre, history, art, politics, science and more. Peruse their free online catalog for classes and special events that support your interests! 413-236-2190. Berkshire Community College.  1350 West Street. Central Berkshire County.

The Literacy Project
The Literacy Project provides free adult literacy and GED classes in Greenfield, Orange, Northampton, Amherst, and Ware. Call 413-774-3934 for more information. Upper Pioneer Valley.

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School
Smith Voc is now offering a new adult education program this year. Fall courses include bicycle repair, the cooperative business model, fermentation, High School Equivalency test prep, photography, small engine repair, Spanish, welding and more. Visit the Smith Vocational website for more information. Northampton, MA.

SERVICE-BASED LEARNING

Adult education centers can also be a resource for service-based learning. These centers sometimes have opportunities for volunteer tutors, teachers, and general helpers. Contact an adult education center nearest you to inquire about volunteer opportunities!

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