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Adult and Continuing Education Doctorate Program Information

Adult and continuing education doctoral programs focus on effective teaching practices for postsecondary students. These research-intensive programs can be completed in about three years of full-time study.

Adult and Continuing Education Doctorate Program Details

Adult and continuing education doctorate programs train degree candidates to plan, deliver and facilitate coursework for students enrolled in postsecondary education programs.

Adult and continuing education doctorate programs typically require a minimum of 90-94 credit hours to complete. Most schools also require a practicum in an approved setting as well as an internship with a school or other educational organization. At some schools, internships are replaced with self-study and experiential courses.

Program Coursework

Some schools require students to complete approximately 12 credit hours of prerequisite adult education seminars before being allowed to take core courses. Once this requirement has been fulfilled, students can take classes introducing them to characteristics of adult learners as well as research methods, educational philosophies, educational psychology and multicultural curriculum programming.

Doctoral degree requirements might also include classes in organizational learning, program planning and administration and human resources. Dissertation research generally is related to a student's area of interest. Typical specialties can include educational and media technology, curriculum design and faculty leadership. Instructors guide degree candidates through this research process during their final semesters.

Entrance Requirements

Most adult and continuing education doctorate programs seek applicants with at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Some schools often require a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.

Career Options for Graduates

Graduates typically find employment as administrators or professors at community colleges, technical schools or 4-year colleges and universities. They could also find jobs as program managers or consultants with businesses and non-profit organizations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual salary of $88,390 as of May 2014. Job opportunities in this field were expected to increase 9% over the 2014-2024 decade. Postsecondary teachers, on the other hand, could see a 13% growth in employment over this same 10-year period. As of May 2014, their median salary was $70,790.

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