As the name suggests, adult education programs prepare you to work with adult learners. The programs are based on adult learning philosophy, known as andragogy. In andragogy, learners are assumed to be self-motivated, self-directed, and have accumulated life experiences that need to be accounted for in course design and delivery. Adult learners are also goal-oriented and so the course goals and objectives must be established early in the course. They are relevancy-oriented, and so must see a reason for learning something, and the practical applications of what is being taught need to be clear. Also, adult learners need to be treated with respect – with valuable experience and knowledge. All these considerations impact on course development and delivery, so as to result in a totally different learning experience to that which many of the adults might have experienced during their earlier years in secondary education.
Campus-based and online education in adult education programs can lead to interesting and satisfying careers facilitating learning in adults. This page provides information on what is studied in these programs, where you can study them, what the prospects are after completion, and more.
What does education in adult education comprise?
Graduate programs in adult education enable you to design, deliver and manage the effective learning of adults in a variety of settings. Most programs will allow you to concentrate on your chosen setting, including online education, workforce development, continuing education, higher education, and military education.
A typical master’s in adult education might include: approaches to adult learning and distance education; adult and continuing education policy; adult development and learning; program planning for adults; workforce development; critical analysis and research skills; technology in adult education; issues and trends in adult education; plus a thesis or dissertation.
A typical doctoral program in adult education might include: approaches to adult learning and distance education; critical analysis and research skills; and, application of theory and research to develop effective learning environments for individuals from a variety of backgrounds. The doctoral program will probably include one or more residential periods.
What are the career prospects?
Graduates of adult education find employment in: corporate training; teaching in the private sector; community services; educational administration, and management in vocational, technical, college/university, and continuing education. The qualifications you need to be an adult educator depend on the type and level of educational program. For example, if you are working with students who are preparing to take their GED, a bachelors or masters degree would usually be required, but in order to teach in higher education in a university, you a need a doctoral qualification. Some adult educators teach in community college courses or in specialized areas such as English as a Second Language (ESL). Adult education programs also provide a base for further training in counseling and careers work. Graduates also find work in development jobs and other non-profit organizations.
The United States Department of Labor reports a median annual income of about $40,000 for adult literacy and remedial education teachers. In a US university, as an Assistant Professor you would earn about US$54,000, as a Associate Professor about US$67,000, and as a full Professor you would earn about US$85,000 – but the competition is tough.
List of schools and programs
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor?s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
- Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
- Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
- Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
- Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MS in Education - Educational Psychology
- MS in Education in Instructional Technology - Adult Learning-Organizations
- And more...
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. We serve more than 36,000 students from the U.S. and around the world and offer more than 140 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 20 certificate programs.
- PhD - Post-secondary and Adult Education
- EdD - Adult Education
- MS - Adult Education
- And more...
St. Thomas University offers regionally accredited, fully online education-focused Master of Science (M.S.) in Education and Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Management online degree programs to help you advance your career and become a transformative leader. Whether you are looking to start your teaching career, enhance your current teaching career, or expand your leadership and management abilities, St. Thomas University offers everything you need, 100% online.
- M.S. in TESOL
- M.S. in Reading Education
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.
- MA Teaching: Middle Grades
- M.Ed. - Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed: Teaching & Learning Student Services
- And more...
- Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
- Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
- Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
- Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
- Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
- Preliminary Education Specialist Credential
- M.A. Education with Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
- M.A. Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential
- And more...
- Graduate Certificate in TESOL
- Master of Arts in Education - Educational Technology
- Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Sports Management - EdS
- International Education - Master of Education
- Global Training and Development - EdS
- And more...
Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.
Home to more than 58,000 students from all 50 states and 125 different countries, Rutgers’ mission is to prepare students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. That’s made possible by a faculty and staff of over 13,000 members, which includes an Abel Prize winner, Guggenheim Fellows, MacArthur “Genius Award” Fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners, and many more.
- Online Master of Education in Adult Education
Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Submit the form on the right to learn how you can make a change and advance your career.
- Doctor of Education - Adult Education
- Ed.S. in Adult Education
- M.S. in Education
- And more...
For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology. Our one-class-at-a-time schedules allow busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family. Whether you choose to attend online, on campus, or both you will be part of a caring learning environment led by experienced faculty who bring textbooks to life with real-world challenges and solutions. Our unique combination of a curriculum that is in pace with technology and the skills employers value along with our “students first” approach provides an outstanding academic experience.
- Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Teaching and Learning (Online Only)
- Education, MS