Online Masters in Adult Education Programs
Online masters in adult education programs prepare students to teach adult learners in a variety of settings while accommodating different learning styles and background. Adult learners face unique challenges, like readjusting to the classroom or balancing work and family with school. By pursuing your masters in adult education online, you could study how to prepare and deliver curriculum using today’s best practices to help overcome these obstacles, so your students can succeed.
And you could do so while taking full advantage of the freedom and flexibility online learning provides. Choose when and where to take class. Plus, gaining experience with the latest technology may provide an added bonus. More and more adult education courses are moving online and your personal experience could help set you apart in this potentially growing field!
Read on to learn more about online masters in adult education degrees. Or get started now by browsing the listings on this page to find a perfect online program for you!
Fun Fact: In 2016, 68% of workers said that training and development is the most important workplace policy. And, 40% of employees who receive poor training leave their positions within the first year.
What is Adult Education?
Adult education is essentially any program or course for adults who are out of school or college. Therefore, when pursuing a degree in adult education, you likely explore how adults learn differently than children and the best ways to accommodate these differences. For example, adult learners draw on past experiences to connect ideas to specific situations. Therefore, helping adult learners relate lessons to personal experiences, or to current events, may provide context so they can learn better.
There are many types of adult learners. Your students might be seeking professional training to enhance their career. Or it could be someone who wants to earn their high school equivalency degree.i Adult learners also may be ESL students and literacy students looking to develop skills to gain employment.ii Earning your online adult education masters degree may prepare you to help any of them achieve these goals.
Online Masters in Adult Education: Degree Basics
Online masters in adult education programs seek to help you develop the skills and knowledge to support adults learners in a number of settings. You may study how to develop, deliver, and evaluate curriculum in a classroom or online. This could be for governments, businesses or organizations. Or you could learn to assess training programs for companies to make sure they align with the company’s objectives.
No matter the goal, one of the most important aspects of online adult education masters programs is learning to adapt teaching methods to the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. You could develop the skills and knowledge to help overcome the most common obstacles adult learners face. These obstacles may include learning disabilities, balancing work and family responsibilities, and re-adjusting to school. You may also learn to teach students from a number of different backgrounds. Cultural sensitivity may be an important trait to help you relate to your future students.iii
Some of the specific courses you may take while pursuing your online masters in adult education degree may include the following.
- Adult Learning Theory
- Instructional Strategies for Adult Learners
- Instructional Technology and Online Education
- Curriculum Development and Instructional Design
- Program Design, Assessment, and Evaluation
How Long May It Take to Earn An Online Masters in Adult Education?
Typically, online adult education masters degree programs take two years for full-time students to complete. Program lengths vary by school. Most programs require students have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited institution. Some programs may also require a minimum GPA or a certain number of years of professional experience. Every program is unique. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual programs and their specific admissions requirements.
Potential Benefits of Online Learning for Adult Education
Online learning may provide a variety of benefits, from more flexibility to perform coursework when and where you’d like, to exposure to interactive technology such as videos, webinars, and podcasts. And as the popularity of online learning increases and more businesses rely on online training, earning your degree online may prove especially helpful. Your comfort with online courses and supportive technology could set you apart from other candidates with future employers. Just think how much more effective you might be after having experience as an online student yourself.
As a result of the growing usage of online education, some online masters in adult education programs place more of an emphasis on information technology or computer science. Some may even offer the ability to earn online certifications, such as Microsoft Office Specialist Certification. Seek out programs that emphasize these programs if this interests you.
Different Specializations or Concentrations While Pursuing Your Online Adult Education Masters Degree
When pursing your online masters in adult education, you may have the option of having a specialization or concentration. This may provide you with more expertise in one area of adult education or help prepare you to teach adult learners in specific settings. Specializations and concentrations may include:
- Adult and Workforce Development
- Online Learning
- Career and Technical Education
- Business Education and Information Technology
- Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Consider if these or others could help you achieve your educational and career goals. Then seek out programs with those specializations or concentrations in the listings below.
Potential Career Paths in Adult Education
An online masters in adult education degree could help jumpstart your career in a number of potential roles. One such role is as a training and development manager, where you may organize and align training to meet an organization’s strategic goals. You could also teach training methods to supervisors and other employees.v While typically only a bachelors degree is required, some organizations are looking for candidates with a masters degree.vi The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of these positions to increase 7% during the years 2014 to 2024.vii Now may be a great time to enter the field! Plus the use of social media, mobile learning, and visual simulations may become larger pieces of training during the coming years.vi Your experience with online education may prove especially helpful here!
Other roles you may pursue include ESL and basic literacy teachers and high school diploma equivalency teachers.ii While none of these roles may require a masters degree, earning one could improve your technique and keep you up to date on the latest best practices.iii, vi This could make you a better teacher and potentially improving your students’ lives! Not to mention it may prove useful to have on your resume.
Take the Next Step to Earn Your Online Masters in Adult Education
Ready to help adult learners succeed? After earning your online adult education masters degree, you may have the skills and expertise necessary to help them achieve their educational goals. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to get started. From there, you can contact the schools directly to request more information and find a perfect match for you!
Sources: [i]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm#tab-2 | [ii]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm#tab-2 | [iii]bbls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [iv]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm#tab-4 | [v]bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm#tab-2 | [vi]bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm#tab-4| [vii]bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm#tab-6
Pennsylvania State University
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Kansas State University
Mount Saint Vincent University
St. Cloud State University
University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff
Western Washington University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign