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What Will I Learn in an MSEd in Adult Education Program?

There are a number of different career choices for educators who have a Master of Science in Education with a Concentration in Adult Education. Professionals with this degree may work in community colleges where they teach adults to read and write or prepare them for completion of a GED diploma program. Corporations and nonprofits often hire these highly qualified educators to develop and implement in-house training programs.

In fact, any environment that requires the skills of well-prepared instructional designers or educators who can manage professional development programs is a job opportunity for a person with a master's degree in adult education.

An Increasing Need for Educators to Teach Adults

According to U.S. News & World Report, the high school dropout rate was nearly 6% in 2015. In 2010, more than 39 million adults did not have a high school diploma. As their life circumstances change, many of these dropouts realize the value of passing the GED. However, World Education reports that waiting lists to get into publicly funded adult education courses are common in all 50 states, highlighting the need for both these courses and the educators qualified to teach them.

What It Takes to Teach Adults

Southern Oregon University (SOU) offers a fully online program for professionals who want to earn an MSEd with a Concentration in Adult Education. This program consists of 11 courses for a total of 45 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 16 months. The online format makes it possible for working professionals to continue in their current jobs while earning this advanced degree.

The curriculum provides students with the skills and training they will need to teach adults in education environments and corporate or nonprofit settings.

Core courses cover a number of topics:

  • Critical issues in education, including the issues of ethics, leadership and foundational philosophies
  • Education research and how to evaluate and interpret methods of teaching and the purpose of research
  • Diversity in the workplace, designed to help students understand the different cultural perspectives, experiences and histories and how they shape people who work and learn together
  • Curriculum design, including an introduction to learning theory and the examination of process, content and assessments in a variety of curriculum areas
  • Professional ethics and leadership with an emphasis on practices, principles, policies and issues in educational settings of all kinds

The core curriculum also prepares students for the proposal, design and implementation of a master's project. The emphasis is on learning and applying 21st century knowledge and skills to instructional decisions and practices.

In addition, 16 hours of the program are designed to prepare you for working in the field of adult education

  • Two courses, "Principles and Theories of Adult Learning and Development" and "Applied Strategies for Engaging Adult Learners," examine historic and current best practices in adult education, as well as how to engage adult learners.
  • "Creativity in the Workplace and Higher Education" and "Learning in Organizations" are designed for reaching adult learners in stable jobs. These classes examine how learning occurs in organizations and introduce you to strategies that incorporate creativity into the workplace and in higher education.

Learn more about Southern Oregon University's Master of Science in Education with a Concentration in Adult Education online program.


U.S. News & World Report: Online Adult Education Master's Degree

World Education: What Is the Adult Education System in the United States?

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