Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Guidance for Adult Learners

In collaboration with:

guidance logo

Are you having difficulty making a decision about your further education?

Choosing to return to education as an adult is a new journey which offers many life choices, as well as educational courses. The guidance counsellor in your local Adult Educational Guidance Service will walk with you as you map out a suitable pathway to arrive at your destination. For the adult who wishes to return to education, guidance may take the mystery out of the maze.

Adults return to education for many reasons. Some take up courses for the purposes of a hobby or interest. Other adults wish to be part of education, in order that they may be helpful to their children's learning. A range of adults come back into education to up-skill and carve a career for the future. The initial reason for returning to education may change and grow as you become more engaged and interested in your education and choices for the future.

"It was great to be able to explore my thoughts and dreams with somebody who wasn't going to tell me that I wasn't able to do that or to get real."- Reflection of an adult student's experience of guidance. 


Each of the Adult Educational Guidance Services offer a range of information supports to the returning adult around choosing a course, qualification levels, student funding, qualification recognition and the stepping stones of progression within courses and towards a career. The adult guidance counsellor may act as a catalyst for change and provide a framework through which the client can integrate personal, social, educational, work, family, community and spiritual values within their lives.

How does the guidance counsellor work with the adult client?

Guidance counsellors meet with adult students on a 'one to one' basis and also facilitate group guidance. The following represent some of the key ways in which a guidance counsellor may take the mystery out of the maze of educational courses and future choices:

- Listening to the client is the essence of the relationship between the guidance counsellor and his/her client. Guidance counsellors provide a safe space where the client becomes more self-aware, more confident and more reflective of their educational, career and life choices.

To find a Guidance Counsellor in your area click here

Whether in 'one to one' or group guidance, the building of a guidance relationship can support you to 

  • look at the bigger picture and the steps required to move towards a goal ;
  • positively identify your own uniqueness in terms of values, strengths, experience and potential;
  • identify, analyse and combine qualities, competencies and skills sets;
  • gain knowledge of the opportunities that are available;
  • sift through all the options;
  • present effectively through portfolio and interview formats;
  • develop educational and career self-management skills;
  • be inspired, motivated and equipped to take action in order to realise his/her full potential in life.  

For more information on education and training options for adults you can access a copy of our information booklet 'What Next' here

To read more about guidance in further education click here

To read more about guidance in higher education click here