While the old saying might be, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," neither dogs nor people have to stop learning as they get older. That's what this entire site is about, after all! If you have a knack for teaching and a passion for helping more mature learners, you might want to consider earning a master's degree in adult education. Whether it involves building on the basics your students have already learned or shoring up oversights in their earlier education, a career in adult education assuredly has the potential to help make the world a better place.
We don't have to tell you how important it is for prospective students — adult education or otherwise — to select a school that provides a quality education. Below, we have compiled a list of 10 noteworthy online colleges for adult education, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and our unique methodology. If a career in adult education is something you're interested in, be sure to consider the colleges featured here.
Adult learners need preparation for the workforce; the development of advanced skills; and, perhaps, an education that takes special circumstances — such as health, family or language barriers — into account. For teachers, an online degree program in adult education can provide an understanding of how to address these needs and offer effective instruction. Following is an overview of what these programs usually entail.
Usually, adult education is taught at the master's degree level, to those who have already acquired an understanding of teaching through a bachelor's degree program and who have already earned some hands-on career experience.
Colleges offering online adult education degree programs emphasize adult education in a variety of settings, such as remedial, continuing education or job-skills training programs. Usually, coursework will prepare students to work with adult learners from a variety of cultures, such as those in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, or those with learning disabilities. Typical courses may include:
Additionally, students likely will be required to complete a research thesis paper; a residency or internship to put their learning into practice; or even a portfolio documenting their progress throughout their degree program.
There are a number of skills that future adult educators are likely to use in their careers, and which online programs in adult education can provide ample opportunity to refine. Some particularly relevant examples are:
Finally, completing an adult education program, in and of itself, can be a great way to show future educators what works and what doesn't in terms of adult learning. An online program, in particular, offers a unique and fascinating perspective on teaching: taking such a program may offer great insights into how to incorporate technological tools into instruction.