Adults Go Back to School

It’s back to school time, only at night and only for adults. Classes start next week for those adults who want to learn new skills, change careers or who are just looking to pick up a new hobby.

The classes are offered only twenty-five minutes away in Bourne, just over the Bourne Bridge at the Upper Cape Cod Regional High School located at 220 Sandwich Road.

The school is offering 520 career and enrichment courses ranging from health careers, computers, technical trade, business, legal, culinary, and wellness and fun courses.  There are over 85 faculty members in the program and all are talented, enthusiastic, dedicated and caring, according to Pat McPartland, a Marion resident, who heads up the Adult & Continuing Education for the high school.

“Adult education is critically important because people no longer stay at a job for 30 years, and most will have four or five different careers before they reach their 60s,” says McPartland. According to McPartland, many adults attend night classes to stay current and update skills to maintain a job in today’s work force. Others lose jobs or work seasonal construction jobs and need to have a skill to find employment, short or long-term.

“It’s not easy for some to come back after being out of school, but our instructors know how to encourage, inspire and help students gain the skills they need to develop a new career,” says McPartland.

The classes primarily focus on job skills and one of the most popular is the Home Health Aide certificate program. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that field is expected to increase by 50 percent from 2008 to 2018.

“Nursing homes and assisted care facilities call us and ask for the names of those earning the certificate because the demand is soaring,” said McPartland.

Mattapoisett resident Colby Rottler is a culinary instructor in the evening program.

“I’ve been teaching culinary for 10 years, four years with Upper Cape,” says Rottler. “I enjoy teaching at the voc-tech because the facility is great and I get to create food, meet new people and share my experience and knowledge.”

Rottler says he likes to “create art that is destroyed in two bites.”

Donna Gibbs, a Marion resident, also teaches in the evening, specializing in the medical field. During the day, she works in the emergency room at Jordan Hospital.

“The quality of the faculty is phenomenal,” says McPartland. Several other Tri-Town residents teach evening classes at the school and have done so for several years.

This is the forty-second year of adult evening education classes at the high school. If you have an expertise and enjoy teaching, the adult education department is always seeking qualified faculty to offer courses that would educate and enhance career opportunities for students.

Browsing through the Fall 2013 catalog, a sampling of course titles includes: Rehab Aide, Advanced EKG Technician, EMT Training, Quickbooks, Microsoft Publisher, Auto CAS III, Blogging with WordPress, Master Electrician, Journeyman Plumbing, Introduction to Welding, Marine Repair Outboard Engines, Woodworking Introduction, Nail Technician Licensing, Small Engine Repair, Speechcraft, Time Management, Federal & State Income Tax Returns, Boosting Website Traffic, How to Get Debt Free Without Harming Your Credit Score, Paralegal Certificate, Fair Housing and Foreclosures, Arabic, Beginning Brazilian Portuguese, and many, many more.

The catalog can be picked up at your local library or go to for a complete course listing. Courses range from $49 up to several hundred dollars, depending on how often the class meets and the number of hours of each meeting.

There are also over 300 online courses starting at $99. For more information, go to or call 508-759-7711, ext. 211 and ask for Pat McPartland.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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