MA in Adult Education: UDC Edge

Adult Education is a diverse field of practice, research and scholarship that focuses on how adults (16 years and older) learn and how to facilitate that learning.  Students in the Adult Education Certificate program develop the ability to teach adults, and/or plan adult learning experiences; guide communities in capacity-building and help foster learning for advocacy and action in a variety of settings.

Master of Arts Degree in Adult Education (MA)

This program is projected to begin accepting students in the Fall 2017 semester.

Our program offers a variety of concentrations:

Adult Basic Education (literacy; teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages; developmental/ remedial education; general equivalency diploma (GED) preparation; and workforce development and training);
Human Resource Management & Development;
Leadership and Administration in Adult Education;
Health Services

Program graduates secure positions in education, nonprofit, public and private service organizations, nationally and globally.

This program reflects national and local trends in adult education, and aligns with characteristics of Andragogy (theory and practice of educating adults).  It is designed to customize learning to your specific learning needs using self-directed learning strategies that include learning plans and self-assessments.  The curriculum embeds workshops and seminars that are conducted by trained professionals.  The subdivision of core courses into 1-credit modules, allow students to tailor their learning and adult educators to meet professional development requirements for job effectiveness and recertification (for which 90 PD hours are needed every four years).  It uses the cohort delivery model—students go through the program as a group, and courses are scheduled sequentially—with admissions to the program in the Fall semester only.

Master’s Degree in Adult Education Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Learners will demonstrate a thorough understanding of program design and tools essential to navigating the program, historical, sociological, psychological and philosophical foundations of adult and continuing education, the changing field of adult education, and vital information about self as educator and leader.
  2. Leaners will demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of orientations and theories of adult development, and be able to teach to various adult learning styles using techniques and instructional methods that accommodate different learning preferences within adults.
  3. Learners with demonstrate how to best institute self-directed learning strategies and include learning opportunities to encourage and empower adult learners to become self-determining and to make sense of their own situations and devise a plan to become a victor of their circumstances.
  4. Learners will demonstrate best practices for working with persons with special needs on career awareness, exploration and placement by understanding pre-vocational, vocational and work activities, as related to the disabilities and employment opportunities.
  5. Learners will demonstrate their ability to effectively communicate with adults using learned methodology for organizing and presenting materials and information in ways appropriate for adults.
  6. Learners will demonstrate competency and understanding of the legal, ethical, cultural and social issues that are associated with the use of technology and they will demonstrate understanding of basic computer literacy skills reflecting knowledge of assistive technology for special needs learners.
  7. Learners will demonstrate mastery in the skills needed to be professionals within their chosen Masters in Adult Education concentration.


Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Adult Education Program (MA)

The Master of Arts program offers:

  • Master of Arts in Adult Education (36 graduate credit hours).
    Tailored to the distinctive learning needs of adults, this program is designed to be a natural transition from the Graduate Certificate program with which it shares core courses and features.  Up to 21 of the credits earned in UDC’s Graduate Certificate program are transferable, within 5 years, to the MA in Adult Education.
  • Professional Development Training
    The subdivision of core courses into 3 one-credit thematic modules sets the stage for students to customize learning plans to their specific needs.  The incorporation of seminars/workshops on contemporary Adult Education issues (such as 2014 GED Blueprint, Common Core beyond K-12, CASAS and other assessment standards) conducted by faculty and other authorities in the field, provides adult educators the necessary academic training to satisfy professional development and/or recertification requirements.  90 PD hours are needed for recertification every 4 years.

Snapshot of Program Requirements

Program Core Electives Capstone Total
If Comps Assessment 24 12 0 36
If Master’s Thesis 24 9 3 36

Applicants to the Program must:

  • hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited, post-secondary institution.
  • to teach Adult Basic Education, must meet:
    • Professional education requirements set out in Municipal Regulations, Chapter 16, Sections 1653 & 1654. Equivalent UDC courses are accepted.
    • OSSE’s State Licensure and Accreditation requirement of Praxis I passing scores.  If you do not meet this requirement at the time of Admission, you must do so before completion of 9 credits of course work, to continue in the program.

To Apply Now:

  • Go to  for admissions requirements and application forms.
  • To apply to the MA in Adult Education:
    complete application for Masters Degree Applicants.  GRE scores, less than 5 years old, are required if you do not already hold a graduate degree.  If you do not meet the GRE requirement at the time of Admission, you must do so upon or before completion of 9 credits of course work, to continue in the program.
  • To register for PD Workshops: Please contact the Adult Education Program. Phone: 202.274.6984 or Email:

Program of Study

Faculty Spotlight: UDC MA Adult Education Program

Dr. Pamela Hampton-Garland in an Assistant Professor of Adult Education at the University of the District of Columbia she has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Adult Education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and obtained her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.  Dr. Hampton-Garland’s research interest is in the area of Cultural Studies in Rural and Urban communities. In addition to cultural studies Dr. Hampton-Garland studies the impact of cultural capital on the pursuit of life-long learning for adults in non-formal, informal and formal settings. Dr. Hampton-Garland serves as the primary facilitator of the graduate level courses for the Graduate Master of Arts degree in Adult Education Program at the University of the District of Columbia.

Dr. Heather Bruce is a Visiting Professor and Coordinator of the Adult Education program, which she co- developed.  She is a versatile professional with domestic and international experience in education, sustainable development, training, financial/banking, capacity building, organization effectiveness, human resources, business, and change management.  She holds a PH.D in human and organization development, and MA in human and organizational systems, and an M.Sc.  in applied behavioral sciences.  She is a Johns Hopkins Fellow in change management and organization effectiveness and a graduate of its graduate leadership development program.

Career Pathways and Prospects

With a Master of Arts Degree in Adult Education, you are prepared to work education, nonprofit, public and private service organizations, nationally and globally. A master’s degree in adult education and training prepares graduates for a career in education, human development or human resources. The skills, that graduates gain transfer to a variety of jobs working with people. This specialized degree can lead to jobs such as adult literacy teachers, adult basic educators, ESL Instructors, corporate trainers, college instructors or professors, instructional designers, employment specialists, student affairs positions, vocational instructors, adult program coordinators and program directors.

Employment of adult educators is projected to grow 19 percent in some areas between 2012 and 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as continued immigration to the United States will create demand for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma programs.

Contact info:

For more on this program contact Dr. Hampton-Garland
Email: | Telephone: 202.274.6877