Master's Degree in Adult Education: Program Information

Oct 15, 2019

Adult education graduate programs can be found as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Education programs. Programs give students the tools to either create and practice adult education programs or pursue research positions in the field.

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Essential Information

Some programs provide online learning options, but schools often require internship, thesis or practicum experiences to complete the degree. Students who wish to earn their teaching license also need to complete a supervised teaching period before they can apply. Specialization options in this program include administration, English, ESL or vocational studies, to name a few. A bachelor's degree is commonly required for admission into a graduate program; some programs may also require applicants to have a teaching license. Several different types of master's degree programs are presented in teaching fields related to adult education, such as special education, administration and curriculum, and some programs may be offered online. Students might also pursue a graduate certificate or Ph.D. in adult education.


Master's Degrees in Adult Education

Students in adult education master's degree programs learn to teach adults of varying backgrounds new skills while enhancing their existing knowledge. Concepts in various learning styles and formats are taught, as well as lesson planning and classroom management. Those who successfully complete the adult education master's degree program might apply for work as adult literacy or GED teachers. Research skills, which might be used for preparing a thesis or research project, often are taught in a master's degree program in adult education. Coursework could vary according to specialization, but common courses include:

  • Continuing education for professionals
  • Instructional methods for adult learners
  • Adult education program design
  • Adult teaching strategies
  • Adult program evaluation

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment for adult literacy and GED teachers could decrease by 10%, from 2018-2028. As immigration persists, there will be a continued need for these professionals, especially those who teach ESL. As of May 2018, adult literacy and GED teachers earned a median salary of $53,630, with the highest 10% earning more than $89,710, according to the BLS.

Licensure and Continuing Education Information

Government-funded schools in many states require adult literacy and GED teachers to obtain a teaching license; the license may need to be in adult, elementary or secondary education, depending on the state's requirements. The BLS stated that eligible candidates typically need to earn at least a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher-training program. Individuals who want to focus on research in the adult learning field might go on to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Adult Education. Graduates of Ph.D. programs might qualify for professor or researcher positions.

A master's degree program in adult education lays the groundwork for graduates to learn how to educate adults in a classroom setting and design effective educational programs. Graduates will also need to secure their teaching license before working as adult literacy and GED teachers.

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