What You Should Know About This Degree
There are several career paths open to you with a master’s degree in adult education. One area of specialization is in adult literacy and basic skills. You may be working with individuals who did not finish high school or those who have immigrated to the U.S., teaching reading and other subjects to help them to better negotiate life in this country.
Another career track is in workforce development. Here, you will be teaching specialized skills — often technological in nature — to those who want to increase their ability to do their jobs well, or to earn promotions in their field. To do this, you may be teaching at the community college level, or you might be hired by a company to teach employees a new necessary skill.
Certification and licensing to become an adult educator varies from state to state. You may need to be certified as a teacher in your state — find out by checking the website of your state’s Board of Education. Professional organizations such as the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education may also offer specific credentials to augment your skill set.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Adult Education programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Each program has its own eligibility requirements, so check the website for any institution you’re interested in. In general, you will need a baccalaureate (bachelor) degree from an accredited college or university. Some programs may require you to have an undergraduate degree in education or a related field. You may also need to have a minimum GPA, usually 2.5 or 3.0.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Online classes are presented in one of two ways: synchronous courses meet at a specific time, and you’ll need to be online and attending at that time. Asynchronous courses are pre-recorded, and you can attend at a time that’s convenient for you. There may also be some flexibility in assignment deadlines as well.
Don’t hesitate to contact an admissions counselor if you have questions, even if you’re not sure a particular program is right for you. Counselors know their programs well, and can advise you on the specifics and get you started on your application and financial aid application if it’s a good fit for you.
Financing your graduate education may be a primary concern for you. Most institutions offer need- and merit-based scholarships. You may also want to explore the possibility of financial assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, or loans from your place of employment and any professional organizations to which you belong.