Adult & Continuing Education Opportunities Abound for Local Residents

Old Lyme and Lyme residents of all ages have access to courses and programs of study from art to Zumba, an adult diploma program to career development and online learning.


“I think learning is a birth to death continuum. You can never stop learning,” said longtime educator Michael Pennella. 

Pannella is the diploma program coordinator for the Montville Adult Education program, which partners with Lyme-Old Lyme, Waterford, New London and surrounding communities to bring continuing education to residents from 18 to 80.

The New London Adult & Continuing Education enrichment program, which serves folks in New London, Montville, Waterford, Lyme and Ledyard (Mashantucket Community Center), offers myriad courses that run the gamut from American Sign Language to Zumba, canine command to pediatric first aid, beading and quilting, quilting and yoga, Facebook for Business, kayaking and Salsa. And plenty more.

Classes are held at Montville High School, Waterford High School, Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, New London High School and Shaw’s Cove.

Enrichment classes begin Feb. 25.

But beyond the diverse enrichment course offerings, online learning course are also available including conversational Japanese, computer skills, accounting fundamentals and career choice courses like exploring a career as a pharmacy technician and catering.

The adult education program also includes what is described as Culture on Wheels; affordable trips to locations like New York City to explore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Providence to check out Federal Hill or Saratoga Springs to explore the world of thoroughbred horse racing or more far-reaching locales like Cuba, Ireland or an Alaskan cruise. Closer to home, the adult ed program also provides opportunities for people to experience the arts locally – at the Garde Arts Center.

But in addition to all the enrichment-type classes, adult and continuing education also provides an Adult High School Credit Diploma Program, General Educational Development (GED), Adult Basic Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages. 

Pennella said the adult high school credit program at Montville graduates 8 to 12 students a year. He described the program as “very successful.”

“The U.S. military does not accept GEDs so this is the best way to get a diploma for young people that have, for whatever the reason, had to leave high school before graduating. And with this diploma, they can go on to (higher education).”

For more information, check the website where you can download a catalog or, by phone (for all locations) call (860) 437-2385. 


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