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Mission Statement

The mission of the Adult Education program is to prepare practitioners who work or will work as teachers, program developers and evaluators, or administrators seeking to enhance the learning capability of adults on an individual, organizational, and community level in educational programs in a variety of contexts. These contexts encompass community-based organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies, corporations, professional and voluntary associations, school systems, continuing & higher education institutions, correctional facilities, cultural institutions (e.g., libraries, museums, and zoological parks), and the military.

The Master of Arts in Adult Education program aims to prepare graduate students to teach and lead effectively in a way that provides graduates with tools to:

  • Assess educational and related needs
  • Design, implement, manage, and evaluate programs and services to effectively address those needs
  • Structure participatory programs involving collaboration, development, and ownership of educational ends and means by the learners themselves
  • Understand, analyze, and relate pertinent theories to practice.
  • Design and conduct practical research aimed at enhancing effectiveness of educational programs
  • Model excellence in learning and leadership as well as in personal, professional, and community networking and development, so that Adult Education program participants can meet their educational and related needs and goals; aspire to excellence in lifelong learning, critical thinking, and creative problem solving; and improve the quality of their lives.

Overview of the M.A. Program

The common core curriculum prepares the educator to meet the contemporary needs of the adult learner and includes courses in the adult learning and development; program development, including needs assessment, design, implementation, management, and evaluation; research methodology; teaching adults; and multicultural perspectives in postsecondary and adult education. Students also complete and internship. In addition to the core curriculum, there are three concentrations in the MA in Adult Education program: Adult Literacy/English as a Second Language, Continuing and Community Education, and Work and Learning. *The 39 hour master's program includes 3 semester hours of supervised internship (150 clock hours minimum) in a setting appropriate to the student’s career goals.

Those students selecting the thesis option must write and defend a master's thesis on an adult education topic and enroll in a minimum of 6 credits of thesis supervision. Graduate faculty will supervise the thesis project.

*With the exception of those choosing both the Adult Literacy/ESL concentration and thesis option who will complete a 42-hour degree program.

What can I do with a graduate degree in Adult Education? 

Adult Literacy/ESL Education
Programs for providing education and training for adults in:
  • Adult literacy
  • Adult basic education
  • GED
  • Family literacy
  • Workplace literacy
  • Workforce development
Continuing and Community Education
Programs providing education and training for adults in settings including:
  • College and universities
  • Government agencies
  • Business and industry
  • Community-based organizations and agencies
  • Religious organizations
  • The Armed services
  • Correctional facilities
Work and Learning
  • Human resource development
  • Workforce development
  • Employee training and development
  • Business and industry
  • Organizational learning and development