Use this time to set goals for future

by Karen Gent Adult Education Connection

As we continue in this season of social distancing, you may find that you are spending a lot of time at home. This is an opportune time to reflect on your goals and plan for the future. If improving your economic status, finding a better paying job, furthering your education, or simply feeling more confident about yourself is one of your goals for 2020, earning your GED® credential could be a good place to start, and Southwest Regional Adult Education is currently enrolling new students in its distance learning program.

Adult learners seek out opportunities to learn because of their own internal motivation to achieve their goals. However, adults may sometimes have trouble defining their personal or educational goals. When needing help with this task, they may look to their local adult education program for assistance.

When adult learners enroll in a program, they usually remain there because they see the possibility of achieving their goals. Because of its importance to learner achievement and retention, goal setting is an important aspect of adult education programs.

Goal setting is an interactive process that involves learners in identifying and recording their goals. Goals should always be attainable and measurable. A timeline for achieving goals should be based on an instructional plan and pertinent learning activities. Goals should also undergo periodic review and revision.

Adult education staff can help assess how prepared learners are to achieve their goals, what is involved in preparing to reach those goals, and how long it might take to complete the process. In his definition of self-directed learning, Malcolm Knowles, who is considered the father of adult learning, describes a process “in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes.” His description emphasizes goal setting as a means to achievement.

Learners benefit from goal setting in several ways. They begin by taking ownership in their own learning and setting realistic expectations. They can develop an understanding of short-term and long-term goals. Individuals will be motivated by a clear learning plan and will develop higher self esteem as they work toward achieving those goals. Learners will share in a collaborative approach to their learning as they are involved in the process of monitoring and evaluating their own progress.

Do you need help setting some meaningful educational goals? Contact Southwest Regional Adult Education for information about our distance learning opportunities. Even though our classrooms are closed at this time due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, you can begin GED® test preparation studies with us online or take a GED® Ready practice test from your home. To register for online studies at this time, call 866-581-9935, and leave us your contact information; then, someone from our office will get back to you with all the details. In the meantime, please do all you can to stay home, and stay healthy.

GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education.

Used under license.