If you are a teacher who is interested in helping adults to reach their career and educational goals, you may wish to consider a career in adult education. Earning your master’s degree in adult education can develop your skills and knowledge to assist adult learners to enhance their career prospects by completing their education.
You could help these adult learners to complete their education in many subjects, including teaching them English or helping them to get their high school equivalency diploma. Some teachers will also teach adults very basic education, such as reading and basic arithmetic.
With an adult education master’s degree, you will be prepared to create and deliver adult level lesson plans to ensure that you are teaching your students in the most effective manner.
After you graduate with your master’s degree, you will be well qualified to become one of the four basic types of adult education teacher:
- Adult education teacher: Some of the typical job duties of an adult education teacher are as follows: plan and teach adult lessons to assist students to obtain the knowledge and skills that they need to complete their education; adapt adult teaching techniques based upon the strengths and weaknesses of each student; stress skills that will help the adult student to locate a job; and assess students for potential learning disabilities
- High school equivalency and adult secondary education teacher: This type of educator will prepare students to take their high school equivalency exam. Some of these programs could be combined with classes to prepare the student for their career. This allows them to earn their GED and also career related education at the same time. The GED exam has questions in language arts, math, science and social studies.
- English as a second language teacher: This teacher will teach her students to write, read and speak English. Students in these classes are usually immigrants to the US, and they need to learn English so that they can work in higher paid positions. ESL teachers commonly help students to practice vocabulary that they need for their jobs and for living each day.
- Corporate trainer: There also are job possibilities for the adult education master’s holder in the area of corporate training, as companies want their employees to have as much education as possible to be more productive. This position is also known as a training and development manager.
Why Earn a Master’s Adult Education?
Teaching in adult education could be the ideal fit for the person who wants to teach, but is not interested in working with children and adolescents. Adult educators are usually working with highly motivated learners in community centers, community colleges, vocational schools and corporate training facilities.
Earning a master’s degree in adult education will provide you with a variety of exciting teaching opportunities. For example, with your master’s degree, you could eventually become a postsecondary teacher at a community college. You may have an undergraduate degree in finance or accounting, and then with your master’s degree in adult education, you could work as a teacher in a community college setting.
With your master’s, you may also be able to get a good job at a vocational school or technical school, and possibly as a corporate trainer.
Wherever you end up teaching with your master’s degree, you should be able to find work; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job field will increase by 7% by 2024.
You should plan on having a strong application if you want to be admitted into an adult education master’s degree program. For example, the Penn State World Campus has the following admissions requirements:
- Official college transcripts with a minimum of 3.0 GPA
- Statement of purpose regarding your adult education career goals and interests
- Three letters of recommendation
- Writing samples
- GRE or GMAT scores
- Updated resume with teaching volunteer experience preferred
Curriculum and Courses
The Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education at Penn State World Campus is made for the adult educator who wants to dedicate her life to teaching and learning.
Businesses and organizations across the globe are spending money more carefully, and employers often have tough standards for new employees. Corporations and many places of business and higher learning are putting more of an emphasis on good adult education and worker training.
As a graduate from Penn State World Campus, you will be able to provide excellent teaching and leadership in one or more of these areas, depending upon your chosen concentration:
- Teaching and learning for the adult learner
- Curriculum and instructional design, as well as development in adult education
- Program planning and administration for the adult learner
- Program evaluation in adult learner programming
Your required coursework online includes these classes:
- The Teaching of Adults
- Perspectives on Adult Learning
- Research and Adult Education
- Introduction to Adult Education
- Introduction to Family Literacy
- Adult Literacy
- Introduction to Distance Education
- Teaching Math and Numeracy to Adults
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Some of the job titles that you could have with this master’s degree include:
- Instructor of college education classes
- Continuing education teacher
- Corporate trainer or manager
- Education specialist
- Adult education teacher
- Program director
- Student services manager
Job and Salary Outlook
- Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher –Employment in this field will rise by 7% by 2024. It is believed that job demand for adult education teachers will rise as more immigrants are coming to the US. There will be more need for adult literacy and high school equivalency teachers. There also will be much more need for ESL teachers and classes. Median pay is $50,200.
- Career and Technical Education Teacher –Teachers in this field will see a 4% increase in demand by 2024, which is slower than average. However, the economy is growing faster than it was in previous years, so this could cause a rise in demand for career and technical education teachers; more technical, trade and business schools could see an influx of students who want to improve their skills. Median pay in this field is $52,800.
- Postsecondary Teachers –Some adult education master’s holders may work at least on a part time basis as an instructor at a community college or technical school. Work in this field will rise by 13% by 2024. More students are attending these types of programs because many adults are going back to school, and attending school at this type of establishment is easier and cheaper than other options. Median full time pay is $72,000 per year.
Scholarships and Grants
- Capella University: This online university offers several scholarships for master’s degree students who want to earn a degree in an education related field. Typical awards are in the $3000 range.
- Michigan State University: This university offers excellent value for its master’s in education programs, and it offers grants and scholarships for students who are studying adult education.
- National Education Association: This is the largest association for teachers in the United States. It offers many educational and networking opportunities, as well as scholarships and fellowships for master’s students.
- American Association for Adult and Continuing Education: The mission of this organization is to provide leadership in adult and continuing education. It intends to expand opportunities for adult education and development and to unify adult educators.