Adult Education Degree: Support a Lifetime of Learning

Adult education degree

Make a difference in the field of adult learning by pursuing an adult education degree. Whether you want to teach at a community college, business, correctional facility, community center or other setting, there is a growing need for qualified adult education professionals. If you are interested in working with adults in fields like continuing education, literacy, corporate training or distance education, learn more about adult education degree programs today.

Adult Education Degree Programs Degree Options

Adult education programs are available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. The admissions requirements for bachelor’s degree programs in adult education are usually a high school diploma, GED or associate’s degree, a minimum required GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. Master’s programs in adult education typically require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum required GPA, and minimum required GRE scores. The prerequisites for a doctoral degrees are usually a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution, relevant work experience, a minimum required GPA, and minimum required GRE scores.

Most states require adult education professionals to have at least a bachelor’s in adult education, but some employers prefer hiring those who have a master’s in adult education. In many states, adult education professionals are required to have a teaching certificate to work in government-sponsored programs. Some states have certificates specifically for adult education, while others require adult education teachers to have teaching certificates in elementary or secondary education. In order to get a teaching certificate, adult educators typically need a bachelor’s degree and must complete an approved teacher-training program.

What You Learn in an Adult Education Program

While pursuing a master’s degree in adult education, you learn about effective teaching strategies for adult learners, how to develop adult education programs, and how to teach adults from varying backgrounds. In some programs, it is possible to specialize in a specific area of adult education, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) or adult basic education. Students may take courses in the following subjects:

  • Adult learning & development
  • Characteristics of the adult learner
  • Program planning in adult education
  • Principles of teaching adults
  • Adult learning & motivation
  • Teaching online in adult education
  • Organization & administration of adult education

Adult education programs prepare students to teach in a variety of settings. Students learn how continuing education and training lead to improved performance in the classroom and workplace. They also learn how to develop and enhance curriculum to meet the needs of adult learners.

Career Options with a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Adult Education

The education and training of adults take place in a variety of settings. Adult students may pursue an education to enhance their professional skills and qualifications or to improve their skills in literacy, numeracy or the English language. As such, graduates of adult education programs work in many different fields, including adult basic education, community education and organizing, professional and continuing education, human resource development, and workplace learning.

Qualities that adult education teachers should have include communication skills, patience, instructional skills, and cultural sensitivity, since they may be required to work with adults from a wide range of ethnic, educational, and economic backgrounds.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of adult literacy and GED teachers is expected to grow by 15% from 2010 to 2020, which is a rate that is about as fast as average. The need for adult education should increase, due to the number of students leaving high school without receiving their diploma, as well as a continued uptick in new immigrants to America who seek ESL training in order to enhance employment prospects. In 2012, adult literacy and GED teachers earned a median annual wage of $48,590. If you would like to launch a career as an adult education teacher, start by exploring adult education degree programs on our site today!