Students seeking a masters in adult education study the practice of teaching adults, including those in college and graduate school. Due to the cognitive differences inherent in developmental stages, adult education degrees differ from child education in a number of ways.
A masters in adult education graduate program specializes in training individuals to utilize the unique learning style of adult students taking into consideration factors including; adults tend to be more self-directed than children, adults tend to have formed a dominant learning style and have some understanding as to how best to use it, adults appreciate consistent feedback regarding their progress, and adults have a rich breadth of life experience to bring to their classroom experience. Candidates interested in an adult education graduate degree program can be attracted to the discipline for many reasons some may want to learn how to share knowledge of their field of expertise or be educators hoping to expand their educational reach.
The graduate degree in adult education is generally a master of education or a master of science. Depending upon their focus, adult education graduate programs may be known by various titles, including:
- Adult and community education
- Adult education and training
- Educational leadership
- Instructional design
- Organizational learning
- Curriculum and instruction
Individuals interested in the field of adult education should ideally possess the following qualities:
- Devoted to teaching and the learning process
- Willing to work at home on lesson planning, grading, etc.
- Skilled at classroom management, or committed to learning about it
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral