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. You might also want to check out the adult education masters and doctoral programs.
What do you study?
Degree 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 adult education degree program might include: adult and continuing education policy; adult development and learning; approaches to adult learning; program planning for adults; workforce development; critical analysis and research skills; technology in adult education; and, issues and trends in adult education.
What are the career prospects with an adult education degree?
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
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...
- Curriculum & Instruction MAE
LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university offering more than 80 programs that prepare students for success in areas including the arts and sciences, aviation, business, education and engineering.
- Master of Education - Curriculum and Instruction Specialization (M. Ed.)
- Master of Education - Teaching and Learning Specialization (M. Ed.)
As the largest private university in North America, University of Phoenix has locations nationwide, and is available online in most countries around the world. Whether you're seeking a college degree at an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level, we can help you reach your academic goal and sooner than you might think.
- MA in Education/Adult Education and Training
- MA in Education/Curriculum and Instruction
- MA in Education/Teacher Ed. for Secondary Lic.
To get ahead, you need an education that will truly set you apart and is affordable. A private, non-profit, fully accredited institution, Bellevue University is dedicated to helping you earn a degree that prepares you to advance your career. Bellevue University has graduated over 40,000 students with an education that combines the latest knowledge and professional skills employers expect. More than 70 bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs in growing fields such as IT, Healthcare, Business, Safety and Security, are available online and on campus.
- Adult Education - BS
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
- Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Adult Education Leadership
- And more...
Keiser University offers accredited degree programs in today's in demand careers: Healthcare, Technology, Paralegal, Business, Nursing and Legal Studies.
- Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Teaching and Learning (Online Only)
- Education, MS (Online Only)
Brandman University, part of the prestigious 150-year-old Chapman University system is a private, non-profit regionally accredited university that offers a high quality education for non-traditional adult students.
At Brandman University, students can choose from over 50 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs in Arts and Sciences, Business and Professional Studies, Education and Nursing and Health professions.
- Credential (Multiple Subjects/2042)
- Credential (Single Subject/2042)
- Added Emphasis Ed Spec Credential- Mod/Sev (Preliminary)
- And more...
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- MA Teaching: Middle Grades
- M.Ed. - Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed: Teaching & Learning Student Services
- And more...
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Master of Arts: Teaching
- Master of Science in Higher Education - College Teaching
- Master of Science: Education
- And more...