Educating the Older Set – Adult education in Hamilton

Ever wanted to learn how to build your own designer-trend barn door? What about becoming skilled at the art of wildlife watching? It’s not too soon to pick up some tips on holiday decorating. Whether you’re interested in learning a new skill or you want to develop a hobby or upgrade your education, Hamilton has the schools and institutions that can take you there with their wide offerings of adult education classes.

Mohawk College has the largest range of adult education and continuing education courses in the city, from barn door building, to pottery, wildlife watching and learning the art of bonsai. The one-day barn door workshop is one of the new workshops being offered this September. It includes instructions on how to cut and assemble your door and how to get that weathered finish. By the end of the class, you will have your own barn door and you can say you made it. Mohawk’s continuing education courses for adults can range anywhere from the more extensive semester-long courses to one or two-day workshops. They are designed to help adult students upgrade their academic profile or enhance their creative side, for example, with programs like Chinese brush painting. There are also courses in computer training, creative writing, starting a small business, accounting and core math.


The Hill Park Learning Centre is located at 465 East 16th Street (formerly Hill Park Secondary School) and is part of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s continuing education program.One of the goals of the Centre is to help adult students work toward upgrading their schooling. They offer adult courses in Math and English for secondary school, post-secondary and apprenticeship pathways as well as several English as a Second Language courses for newcomers and others. The courses are offered in a variety of ways to make it easier for adults to access learning. They include online courses that offer face-to-face instruction for the first class, video access to day programs, distance learning, night school programs and co-op placements. For those wanting to learn online, there’s a free assessment and ongoing support from teachers throughout the course. With so many courses and programs offered, it can be difficult to know where to start and that’s why they suggest that people contact the Assessment Centre (phone 905-521-2554) for help.

The St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education centre is run by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board and has several locations in the downtown, on the Mountain and in Stoney Creek. The courses offered are designed to enhance computer skills, improve literacy and basic skills or earn high school credits. ESL is offered at night school, during the day and during summer school.The centre also offers Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (aka PLAR) for mature students to obtain secondary school credits recognizing their prior learning.


McMaster University offers more than 300 courses, programs and professional development workshops through its Continuing Education Centre. The courses have been developed to enhance both theoretical knowledge as well as practical applications to help build skills and find employment. The CCE’s areas of focus include business management, communication and design, health and social services and metallurgy. They also offer adult continuing education classes in computer training, human resources management, web design and more. To make upgrading easier, the courses are offered at night, online and over the weekends. With so much available so close to home, there really is no excuse for any of us wanting to upgrade our skills or broaden our knowledge. There is bound to be a course or workshop that meets our needs. Back to school!

Local Links
Mohawk College

McMaster University

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

St. Charles

Written by Denise Davy

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