You may know what types of careers you want to pursue, or programs you want to take.
Now it’s time to identify and evaluate potential adult learning providers and programs to find your best fit.
What you decide to do – and how you plan to get there – is up to you.
Your best fit
Your best fit is something that’s unique to you. Finding your best fit recognizes that:
- everyone attends post-secondary for different reasons
- your reasons for attending should be clearly defined and understood
- your reasons for attending are your own, and should reflect your personal values and interests
You can find your best fit by exploring your goals and then working on a plan to achieve them.
Questions to ask
When students are exploring post-secondary learning opportunities they should keep these questions in mind:
- how do I learn best?
- why am I suited for or interested in this program of study?
- which institution can provide the best opportunities for advancing in my studies and meeting future goals?
- where do I see myself after completing my studies, and five years after that?
Do your research
If you know what type of program to take, but not where to take it, visiting post-secondary institution websites can help you narrow down your options.
Here is what to look for:
- programs they offer (look for the “program” option on their website home page)
- admission requirements
- admission deadlines
- program costs
- services you may need while you learn, such as child care, student housing or study supports
Even if you have an institution in mind, researching other options can either reinforce your decision, or expand your options.
Explore graduate outcomes
Researching success rates for the programs and institutions you’re considering can also help.
- graduate outcome surveys
- Labour Market Outcomes of Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training System
- Labour Market Outcomes of Graduates of Alberta Post-Secondary Institutions
Build a plan
Use the information you’ve gathered to build a plan for your future. Your plan doesn’t need to be a formal document, as long as it clearly lays out a path for where you want to go, and the steps you will take to get there.
- use CAREERinsite to help your focus your goals
- read planning advice from Learning Clicks ambassadors
- use this checklist to find out what to steps to take and when
Students less than 19 years old before September 1
These students can finish their education at a publicly-funded high school or through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre at no tuition cost. Many adult learning institutions also offer upgrading courses and programs for a fee.
Students more than 19 years old before September 1 (adult learners)
These students are responsible for paying tuition costs for upgrading options:
- upgrade through a local school board (approximately $500 per course)
- pursue distance education through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (approximately $500 per course)
- attend a post-secondary institution
Adult Learners can also pursue a High School Equivalency Diploma. This diploma is generally used for employment purposes and may not be acceptable for post-secondary admission.
Students from other countries can access:
Tuition and other learning costs
Tuition and other learning costs, such as textbooks or equipment, can vary by program and institution. It’s important to talk to the adult learning providers you’re considering to get exact costs for the programs you want to take.
Differences in tuition costs can be due to a number of reasons, including:
- type of program
- type of credential you would earn
- program delivery (on-the-job vs. classroom)
- program length
- additional supports provided to students
Some learning providers post this information on their websites, either with program information or in admissions information. Others require you to contact them for details.
Going to post-secondary full-time can impact your budget. Get a sense of how much your living expenses will be now, so you can plan for how much money you may need to save in your bank account, or apply for in student loans.
Some things to consider include:
- will I be living at home, in campus housing or off campus housing?
- if I need to move to attend my institution of choice, how much will that cost?
- how much money will I need to pay all of my expenses every month?
- are there other expenses I need to consider?
- budgeting advice from a Learning Clicks ambassador
- Money 101 for details about building a budget (PDF, 5.3 MB)
- what international students should consider when building a budget
- how a Learning Clicks ambassador found free stuff to keep her costs low
After you decide which program and institutions you want to apply to, and have a sense of the budget you will need, you’re ready to make your education happen.