What is Adult Learning and why is it important?

We all know that learning does not stop after the age of eighteen but continues throughout life. Learning is an essential tool that helps individuals and society grow and respond to change. This is especially important in a world where dramatic workplace and lifestyle changes have become a feature of all our lives.

‘Adult learning’, ‘post-compulsory learning’ and ‘lifelong learning’ are all terms that describe the learning that we undertake throughout life. The professions term it “Continuing Professional Development – CPD”. Lifelong learning contributes to every aspect of life in Australia – the economy, environment, community work, family life and recreation.

In Australia there are thousands of opportunities to become involved with learning and each year millions of Australians participate in a learning activity.

Learning does not have to involve classrooms, enrolment, assignments or qualifications.

Participating in learning does not have to mean that you are a student. You can become involved as a mentor, tutor, guide or volunteer, or simply participate as an equal member of a group. People who participate in lifelong learning develop skills and confidence that enable them to embrace change and seize new opportunities. People engaged in learning quickly become confident, innovative and enterprising people, better able to cope with all aspects of life.

Lifelong learning is a powerful tool for building prosperous and thriving communities in which people pool their resources, skills and knowledge, to advance the community as a whole. Therefore and importantly, on-going learning contributes to the concept of a civil society where tolerance and acceptance of diversity is developed and celebrated.

There are learning options and outcomes to suit everyone. It is never too late or too soon to participate in some form of learning. 

So, join a book club, become a volunteer, share your skills and mentor someone, learn a language or learn to cook. The choice is only limited by you. 


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Education, Investment or Cost?

Some of us are fortunate enough to ask this question. For the vast majority of the world’s population, education is neither a question of investment or cost. It is simply an unattainable luxury.

During a recent throw out I came upon the crumpled front page of the Sydney Morning Herald from 2004. There was a picture and story of young graduate doctors heading off for placements in rural NSW. Of the group pictured, most seemed to be from non-English speaking backgrounds and the article mused on this fact at length.

Of those pictured, the scant facts of a young man of Vietnamese background caught my attention. Along with his family, he had fled Vietnam by boat on a journey that many before and after him had not survived. He landed in this country not speaking English. A refugee. Within 12 years he was heading off to a Rural Hospital for the final part of his medical training. As the article pointed out, he would soon be a valuable resource to rural Australia.

Two things strike me as interesting here. The first is the obvious fact that this country has been built on migration, forced and un-forced. The second is that our investment in those so landed and in education generally, pays dividends. We are richer culturally and economically as a result. Migrants especially see education as the key to generational change.

The story of the young Vietnamese man is not unusual. I have over the years been privleged to present awards, certificates and other prizes. I have also met first and second-generation refugees who through outstanding commitment, have invested heavily in their own education. Their stories vary but are similar and usually feature a background of oppression, violence, hardship and escape. For them, the once unattainable luxury of education became a realisable goal in Australia.

In this country, education has never been viewed as a luxurious addition. It is a Public Good. The strength of our education system will inevitably determine the future of our society.

Garry John Traynor

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author

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Miss Marshall couldn’t dance the Paso doble

South America! Yes! Rio…The Andes…Latin music, adventure and mostly one language top to bottom. Spanish. I was going, so I’d better learn it.

Now the real fear set in. Classrooms and I hadn’t seen each other for some time and that’s the way I thought I would keep it. My old school smelled a little like aged caramel and sweaty socks in the hallway. It was a smell that I could not erase from my memory. I could always hear the deputy’s footfall when we were in maths. It usually meant I was in trouble again. I think I spent more time outside the deputy’s office than in any other place at school. 

I tried to picture my prospective Spanish teacher, but the only image that kept coming to me was of Miss Marshall and her incredibly bad dress sense.

Eiffel Tower

Learn French

I, and 28 others had endured a year of French with Miss Marshall. We all thought she was on with Mr Johnston from Geography who drove a sports car and wore a satisfied look most of the time. The only thing I really liked about French was that it was that it was better than Commerce. When Miss Marshall was out of the room, a moment she only ever took with the possibility of a small riot taking place while she was gone, we would make jokes about her secret liaison with Mr Johnston. Strange how teachers never had first names.

How would I do at Spanish? I hoped it would not be like school.

Oh no! The hallway smelled the same as the one I had left behind so many years ago. Something in the polish I supposed but it was so evocative. The walls looked the same and even had the same posters on them. Someone in school education had bought a job lot. Oh my god! I spied a map of the world coloured in the shades of the colonies, pink for Britain blue for France etc. Some of those countries didn’t even exist any more.

I found my classroom and walked in with a couple of other tentative Latinofiles. We sat down and looked around the walls avoiding eye contact. I checked under the desk and sure enough, found half a truckload of hardened chewing gum. Some scratched hieroglyphics proclaimed that Sean was 4 ever.  The whiteboard (used to be a chalkboard in my day) had been cleaned and some posters with the corner of one drooping precariously indicated that the careers adviser used this room during the day. There were other pictures of serious but happy looking adults engaged in meaningful, productive work. I wondered what had happened to Sean and if he really had been 4ever.

Spanish dancing

Learn Spanish

Suddenly, the iPod, which had been sitting on the teacher’s desk, burst into sound. Rodrigo! The Concierto de Arunjues. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as the almost too bright brass, the thrilling trill of piccalos and the fabulous voice of the bassoon counter posed the oh so subtle guitar. Images of dancing Spanish stallions and beautifully arched flamenco backs swam forward with sound. Popular, powerful, and passionate. This was the very essence of Spain.

At just the right moment, the music faded and from out of one of the front seats rose our teacher.

“Bienvenido a mi clase. Espanol es mi lengua para el final de esta clase le gustara mi lengua asi como yo”.

This was not Miss Marshall.

Interested in learning a language?

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How a Certificate IV TAE opens many doors

A Certificate IV in Training and Assessment can open the doors to new work opportunities or a second job. With a Certificate IV TAE 40110 you are a qualified trainer and assessor and can teach in the VET sector.

TAE40110Do you….

  • deliver training at work but don’t have a qualification
  • want recognition for the training and assessing you are doing
  • want to learn how to train and assess peoples workplace skills
  • want to teach and share your skills and knowledge
  • want to work in the VET sector

Are you…

  • moving to a training and development role
  • a training advisor or training needs analyst
  • looking to earn a second income

What does the course teach you?

You’ll learn how to design learning, deliver training and conduct workplace assessments. That means that by the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Design and deliver training for clients and staff
  • Tailor training for individuals and groups
  • Make and deliver a presentation that engages your audience
  • Know how to design effective training and assessment tools and resources
  • Know where to look for training resources
  • Explain how the training industry works in Australia
  • Understand and use national training packages
  • Confidently give work skill instructions
  • Assess whether the learner has reached the desired learning goals
  • Assess whether someone is competent in a workplace skill

Who will employ me with a TAE?

With a TAE40110 and your other qualifications you can work at Registered Training Organisations (RTO). These include government and private providers such as:

  • Community colleges like Sydney Community College
  • Technical and further education (TAFE) institutes
  • Secondary schools and colleges
  • Universities
  • Agricultural and technical colleges
  • Telstra, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Commonwealth Bank, Australian Computer Society, Australian Industry Trade College

Your current employer may be an RTO – look them up on www.training.gov.au and see.

What type of person has a TAE 40110?

You’d be surprised at how many people have the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Ask your friends and colleagues. Some examples are:

  • Accountants
  • Business owners
  • Frontline managers
  • IT specialists
  • Language teachers
  • Photographers
  • SEO specialists
  • Training and development managers
  • Visual artists

How does the course run?

The course is covered in three modules spread over 10 weeks. You attend for a full day once a week and have in-class work and assessments to complete.

Why choose us to do your TAE?

  • Saturday classes
  • Free onsite parking
  • Pay in installments
  • Manuals provided
  • Access to computer resources
  • Quality training facilities
  • Highest completion rate
  • Most of the work is done in class
  • Highly experienced trainer
  • Ongoing support

To enroll and find out more

You can find out further details about the Certificate IV TAE from our website or by calling 8752 7555.

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Online learning – over 300 courses to choose from

Study in your own time in these six-week online short courses. You’ll be kept motivated and on track with lessons, quizzes, and a discussion forum giving you access to other students and the tutor.

Once you have completed the online lessons you will receive an e-certificate as proof of completion.

Choose from over 300 highly interactive courses – there’s something for everyone.

OnlineLearningChoose from courses in:

  • accounting and finance
  • business
  • computer applications
  • design and composition
  • healthcare
  • language and arts
  • personal development
  • teaching and education
  • technology
  • writing and publishing

The courses start on the third Wednesday of each month.

Can’t do Wednesdays? Don’t worry, you can access lessons after the scheduled time and still complete your course.

For more information about Online Learning and to enrol.

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3 reasons why you need to know Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides real-time information and tools to analyse your web presence. You can track your website, blog, MySpace, Facebook, and RSS feeds.

And it’s free to use except for the largest of websites.

Executives, marketing professionals, content writers and developers can all benefit from understanding Google Analytics.

google analytics1. To grow your business

  • Know who is finding your business
  • Know what they are searching for
  • Know where your business is coming from
  • Find out how to reach them

2. To measure your marketing campaigns

  • Measure activity as it happens
  • Create and analyse your own market segments
  • See the return on your marketing investment
  • Improve your online sales

3. To improve your website design

  • Test and improve your web pages
  • Get visitors to their destinations faster
  • See how visitors move within your site
  • Uncover problems before your customers do

You don’t need to be an expert in Google Analytics, but you need to know how to use it if you are serious about having an effective website and online presence.

Using Google Analytics to grow your business

Our short course in Google Analytics at Sydney Community College will teach you what you need to know. Learn from a Google Analytics certified web analyst and industry expert who will show you how to analyse your website to grow your business.

What the Google Analytics course covers:

Session 1 – Background and traffic
Session 2 – Conversions optimisation
Session 3 – Digital marketing
Session 4 – Summary and case studies

So, get your team together and enrol in Using Google Analytics to grow your business

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Is freelancing for you?

Do you want the freedom of being your own boss and not being tied to one employer?

As a freelancer, you get to choose the work you want to do. As long as the outcome meets your client’s specifications, you can generally perform it in a way that suits you.

However, it’s not all easy. You have to find clients, the work may not be regular and, there may be a lot of competition for what you do. There’s also the lack of regular and guaranteed income that you have come to expect.SCC_business_1.1

So, what skills do you need to be a freelancer?

  • Business
  • Money
  • Taxation
  • Law
  • Marketing.

That’s just the short list! But, there’s so much more to know about doing freelance work.

Freelancer and author, Monica Davidson, runs our Freelance 101 Course. She’s even co-authored a book – Freelancing for dummies and is working on her second.

Freelance 101 Course

Freelance 101 is a three-day practical course which will show you how to:

  • start a freelance business correctly and with confidence;
  • handle the business and financial responsibilities, including taxes;
  • understand your legal rights and responsibilities regarding copyright and contracts;
  • understand and apply marketing ideas and principles.

Useful websites

Some useful websites from Monica’s own website to whet your appetite and see if freelancing is for you:

A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing – www.gyford.com/phil/writing/2006/10/26/a_beginners_guid.php

Arts Connect – www.artsconnect.com.au

Creative Business – www.creativebusiness.com

Creative Business Benchmarker – www.benchmarker.org.au

Freelance Switch – www.freelanceswitch.com

The Business of Being Creative – www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com

The Loop – www.theloop.com.au

For more information on Freelance 101 and to enrol.

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