Chicago Masters in Adult Education on-Campus Programs
Masters in adult education schools aim to help you develop the expertise to provide adult learners with the skills and knowledge they may need to enhance their careers or even secure first time employment. Therefore, programs are focused on teaching you how adults learn, the unique challenges they face, and how to effectively develop, deliver, and assess curriculum and teaching methods. That way you can prepare future students to find and keep employment, and potentially have a truly positive impact on their lives.[i]
Choosing to earn your masters in adult education on-campus may provide additional potential benefits. You could have the opportunity to connect with your classmates and professors more deeply than you would through an online program. This may also help you network with the close-knit and active alumni groups that are still developing in online programs – a potential advantage during your job search. Plus, courses in on-campus programs meet at a specific location and time. This may provide the structure that some students need for success.
Ready to get started? Continue reading to learn more about the different aspects of masters in adult education schools. Then click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual programs. From there, you can even contact the schools directly to request more information!
Fun Fact: In 2011, U.S. firms spent roughly $156 billion on training. Yet, 90% of the new skills employees learned were lost within a year because of little or no follow-up training.
Masters in adult education schools may help address this challenge as a training and development manager.
What is Adult Education?
Adult education is any program or course for adults who are no longer formally in school and may occur in a variety of settings, for a number of different reasons. For example, adult learners may undergo professional training at a business or through a nonprofit or government agency to make them potentially more competitive in the job market. Or they may wish to develop their literacy or English skills. Some may even choose to pursue their high school equivalency diploma.[ii] Masters in adult education schools could prepare you to help all of these students achieve their unique goals.
While pursuing your masters degree in adult education, you’ll likely learn best practices and theories on how to teach adult learners, and when and how to apply those theories. You may study core teaching principles, student assessment, and program planning. To learn more, continue reading or click on any of the sponsored listings below for individual program details.
Masters Degree in Adult Education Schools: Essential Facts
Most masters in adult education programs require that applicants have already earned a bachelors degree from an accredited institution. Some programs may also require that students earned their bachelors degree with a minimum GPA . It’s important to remember that every program has different admissions requirements. For instance, there are some programs that require a certain number of years of professional experience. Therefore, be sure to read program descriptions carefully or contact the program directly to ensure you are eligible to apply.
Typically, masters in adult education degree programs take two years for full-time students to complete. However, this may vary based on an applicant’s professional experience, transfer credits, and when courses are offered. In addition to core curriculum, most programs also require a thesis project for graduation that shows students have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to teach adult learners in a number of settings. Every program is unique, so research individual schools to find the perfect match for you!
What’s the Difference Between MA, MS, and MEd?
As you research masters degree in adult education schools, you may find three common degree styles. While there are many similarities between an MA, MS, and MEd degree, each may focus on helping to prepare you to pursue different roles upon earning your degree. For instance, an MA degree may provide you with an education more focused on teaching, whereas a MS degree may prepare you to jumpstart a career in educational research. Compare this to a MEd degree, which might provide you an education more focused on the educational system itself. Coursework could center on curriculum development and leadership, for example.
It’s important to remember that the main similarity between the different degree options is that they are all designed to help prepare you for teaching adult learners. Each provides coursework based around that goal, but specific courses and the overall structure may vary.
Potential Masters in Adult Education Courses
No matter which of the degree options you choose, the core curriculum while pursuing your masters degree in adult education will be focused on creating and executing effective lesson plans for adult learners. Adult learners face unique challenges different from teaching children such as managing family and work responsibilities, overcoming learning disabilities, and readjusting to classes and school. Therefore courses seek to provide you with the skills and knowledge to create, develop, deliver, and evaluate curriculum, coursework, and teaching methods specifically tailored to their needs. This may be done through independent study, group projects, exams, field-based projects, and internships.
Potential courses might include:
- Adult Education Theory
- Program Design, Assessment, and Evaluation
- Curriculum Development and Instructional Design
As most masters in adult education schools offer a core curriculum plus electives, there may be an opportunity to choose additional courses to gain a greater level of understanding in specific topics. For more in depth study, some programs may even offer specializations or concentrations in the masters degree in adult education program as well.
Potential Specializations and Concentrations in Masters in Adult Education Schools
The masters in adult education schools that offer specializations or concentrations may provide students more course options and allow them to develop a greater understanding of a specific area of adult education. Specializations or concentrations may also help determine what aspect of adult education you pursue upon earning your degree.
Some of the different specializations or concentrations available may include:
- Adult Literacy
- Training and Development
- Education Training and Management Specialist
- Adult and Workforce Development
Consider your goals to determine if a specialization or concentration might be a great choice for you.
Potential Benefits of Earning Your Masters Degree in Adult Education On-Campus
Earning your masters degree in adult education on-campus may provide you with the unique benefits of traditional learning that may get lost with online programs. As an added bonus, you could see the very principles you are studying in action, with the adult learner being yourself! Potential benefits of masters in adult education schools may include:
- Meeting face-to-face with professors and classmates
- Use of campus facilities (computer labs, library, etc.)
- More active alumni groups
- Regularly scheduled classes
Additionally, on campus programs could provide you with better faculty, as some institutions rely on adjunct professors for online programs.[ii] Plus, the more active and close-knit alumni groups may not seem too important now, but it could help once you’ve earned your degree. Networking with other alumni may just help you find a job of your dreams!
Potential Adult Education Careers
There are many different careers you may be qualified to pursue upon earning your masters in adult education degree. Some of the most common roles are:
- ESL teacheriv
- High school diploma equivalency teacher[iii]
- Training and development manager[iv]
Each of these careers may build directly off the skills and knowledge you might develop through your masters in adult education program. And while many of these roles may not require a masters degree for entry-level positions, an advanced degree could help you in your pursuit of a position.v
Additionally, these fields may see potential growth in employment opportunities. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of training and development managers to increase 7% for the years 2014 to 2024. That’s because innovations in training methods and learning technologies are expected to continue throughout the next decade. As a result of more reliance on technology, as well as social media, mobile communication, and visual simulations, training programs may need to be modified over the coming years.[v] While a masters degree isn’t typically required for all manager positions, training and development managers may be more needed than ever, and now some companies do require an advanced degree.[vi]
The BLS expects there to also be a 7% increase in the number of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers, who typically also teach ESL. Immigration to the United States is expected to continue at its current rate, which means there will likely be still be many immigrants that don’t speak English well enough to find and keep employment.i Adult educators could help fill this knowledge gap and prepare them to pursue their dreams.
Take the Next Step!
Are you ready to help others develop skills and knowledge to potentially enhance their career? Then earning your masters degree in adult education may be a perfect choice for you! Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual schools with masters in adult education. This may include admissions requirements, courses, and faculty. You can also sort this list by location using the menu tab above. Once you find a program that interests you, request more information directly from the school to begin your journey. Good luck!
Sources: [i]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm#tab-6| [ii]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm#tab-2 | [iii]usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/07/12/how-to-compare-online-on-campus-graduate-programs | [iv]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [v]bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm#tab-4 | [vi]bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm#tab-6
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago's School of Education serves more than 1,000 graduate students enrolled in master's, educational specialist, certificate, and doctoral programs.
- Bridgeview, ILBridgeview, IL
The Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) is designed to integrate a Christian perspective into the context of leadershi...