Skip to main content
adult ed
Master of Education in
Lifelong Learning and Adult Education

Courses

Penn State's 30-credit online Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education curriculum focuses on the knowledge and skills required to develop professionals who work with adult learners. Each course focuses on preparing you to help adult learners build on their existing knowledge and continue to learn in a purposeful way.

The Graduate School policy requires that out of the 30-credit curriculum, at least 6 credits must be taken at the 500 level, and at least 18 credits must be taken at the 500 or 800 level. A maximum of 10 credits from graduate course work completed at an external institution may be transferred into a degree program. The Graduate School also requires all students to graduate with a 3.0 GPA or higher and within an eight-year time frame.

Elective credits can be taken at any time during your degree progression. You will need to obtain prior approval from your academic adviser before taking any 400- or 500-level graduate courses to fulfill your elective requirements. Any graduate-level course taken at Penn State may qualify as an elective requirement for this program with prior approval from your academic adviser. You may also be able to transfer credits into the program, in consultation with your academic adviser. Prerequisites as listed may be waived by the course instructor if you can demonstrate the required level of competency.

Collaborative Experience, Practical Applications

The adult education curriculum uses a blend of web technology, print, and other media to maximize flexibility without sacrificing professor and student interaction. Communication tools, including bulletin boards and email, are used to foster a collaborative environment, providing you with the opportunity to learn from one another about the unique industries and institutions you come from and your varied professional experiences.

The curriculum and course format will help you develop practical applications of the topics you study. Learn online when it is convenient for you, and immediately apply to your job what you've learned.

Required Courses (12 credits)

The core courses and culminating experience are required for all program options.

Core Courses (9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    History, methods, agencies, program areas, and problems of adult education in the United States.

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of direct and indirect teaching; contracts, application of current technology, andragogy, motivation, evaluation; knowledge of research.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to adult education learning theory, principles, and models of adult learning by adults alone, in groups, and in communities.

Culminating Experience (3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Review of research in adult education, current and past, with analysis of its directions, effects, methodology, quality, financing, and prospects. This is the capstone course — all other required courses must be taken prior to ADTED 588.

General Master of Education Option (select 18 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces family literacy concepts, models, and components supporting families: adult, child, and parent education; interactive literacy activities; and case management.

    • Prerequisite

      EDPSY 014 and either an associate degree or 60 undergraduate credits

  • 3
    credits

    Surveys adult basic and literacy research, theory, programming, and instruction; highlights learners' roles as parents, workers, and community members.

    • Prerequisite

      EDPSY 014 and either an associate degree or 60 undergraduate credits

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to the history, philosophy, organizations, learning theories, and instructional procedures used in American and foreign distance education.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines issues of learning math as an adult and explores effective strategies for teaching math and numeracy to adults.

    • Prerequisite

      Associate degree or 60 undergraduate credits

  • 3
    credits

    Intensive study of theoretical foundations, policies, evaluation models, methods, and materials in program planning in adult education.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460, ADTED 505

  • 3
    credits

    Guided discussion and reading in selected research and evaluation methods and trends as applied in adult education settings.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the relationship between issues of language, identity, and culture for adult learners in an increasingly global context.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 508

  • 3
    credits

    Social and historical foundations of adult education in the United States and selected nations.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

    • Note

      Students must have completed at least 12 credits of related course work prior to taking this course.

  • 3
    credits

    Students will explore the historical and current developments of online and distance education in different regions of the world.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

  • 3
    credits

    Reading literacy for adults, including college reading, Adult Basic Education (ABE), and General Educational Development (GED) programs.

    • Prerequisite

      LLED 440 or teaching experience

  • 3
    credits

    Organization of a program of adult education; legal status, finances, selection of teachers, learning personnel, housing; other administrative problems.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 506 or EDLDR 480

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth coverage of social theory, especially as it intersects with research in adult education and lifelong learning.

Adult Basic Education and Literacy Option (18 credits)

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Examines issues of learning math as an adult and explores effective strategies for teaching math and numeracy to adults.

  • 3
    credits

    Guided discussion and reading in selected research and evaluation methods and trends as applied in adult education settings.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the relationship between issues of language, identity, and culture for adult learners in an increasingly global context.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 508

  • 3
    credits

    Reading literacy for adults, including college reading, Adult Basic Education (ABE), and General Educational Development (GED) programs.

    • Prerequisite

      LLED 440 or teaching experience

Electives (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces family literacy concepts, models, and components supporting families: adult, child, and parent education; interactive literacy activities; and case management.

    • Prerequisite

      EDPSY 014 and either an associate degree or 60 undergraduate credits

  • 3
    credits

    Surveys adult basic and literacy research, theory, programming, and instruction; highlights learners' roles as parents, workers, and community members.

    • Prerequisite

      EDPSY 014 and either an associate degree or 60 undergraduate credits

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to the history, philosophy, organizations, learning theories, and instructional procedures used in American and foreign distance education.

  • 3
    credits

    Intensive study of theoretical foundations, policies, evaluation models, methods, and materials in program planning in adult education.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460, ADTED 505

  • 3
    credits

    Social and historical foundations of adult education in the United States and selected nations.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

    • Note

      Students must have completed at least 12 credits of related course work prior to taking this course.

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth study of the practices of designing courses taught by print, broadcast, and telecommunications media to adult distance learners.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 470, INSYS 415

  • 3
    credits

    Students will explore the historical and current developments of online and distance education in different regions of the world.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

  • 3
    credits

    Organization of a program of adult education; legal status, finances, selection of teachers, learning personnel, housing; other administrative problems.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 506 or EDLDR 480

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth coverage of social theory, especially as it intersects with research in adult education and lifelong learning.

Global Online and Distance Education Option (18 credits)

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to the history, philosophy, organizations, learning theories, and instructional procedures used in American and foreign distance education.

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth study of the practices of designing courses taught by print, broadcast, and telecommunications media to adult distance learners.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 470, INSYS 415

  • 3
    credits

    Study of previous, current, and needed research, and of strategies and issues concerning evaluation, in distance education.

  • 3
    credits

    Students will explore the historical and current developments of online and distance education in different regions of the world.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

Electives (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Intensive study of theoretical foundations, policies, evaluation models, methods, and materials in program planning in adult education.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460, ADTED 505

  • 3
    credits

    Social and historical foundations of adult education in the United States and selected nations.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 460

    • Note

      Students must have completed at least 12 credits of related course work prior to taking this course.

  • 3
    credits

    Organization of a program of adult education; legal status, finances, selection of teachers, learning personnel, housing; other administrative problems.

    • Prerequisite

      ADTED 506 or EDLDR 480

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth coverage of social theory, especially as it intersects with research in adult education and lifelong learning.

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines emerging web technologies and explores their application to learning and education.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Penn State World Campus Graduate

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

* required 1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.