For many, helping others learn and better themselves is one of the most fulfilling parts of life, and those who incorporate this passion into a career call themselves lucky.
With a bachelor’s degree in adult education, you can teach, train, or help adults in educational, business, or other professional settings. This diverse field could mean teaching literacy courses at a local college, helping adult students prepare for a job interview, or creating and implementing training programs for a group of employees.
The opportunities in adult education are limitless, and you can tailor your degree program to meet your specific career goals. Take a look at our 10 Best Bachelor’s in Adult Education/Learning to gain insight into what this degree entails and how it can help you reach your ambitions.
Related Resource: What is a Bachelor’s Degree?
What Is a Bachelor’s in Adult Education/Learning?
Bachelor’s in adult education/learning programs vary in their goals for students. Some of them are geared towards students who are already established in a career and need an undergraduate degree for increased credentials and marketability. Others are for students who want to teach youth or adults in vocational subjects like technology or literacy. Then, there are adult education/learning undergraduates that prepare students for leadership and training roles in various organizations.
A bachelor’s in adult education/learning typically requires a concentration, such as career development or technical skills. You will take a combination of courses in general education classes and classes geared towards your major like communication and curriculum development.
In some programs, you will also complete an internship. You will take at least 120 credit hours, although you may receive transfer credits from previous college courses, work, or military experience. Bachelor’s in adult education/learning are offered in various formats, including on-campus, online, and hybrid, to accommodate working students.
Careers for Adult Education/Learning Majors
A perk of a bachelor’s in adult education/learning is its diversity, which allows you to pursue a variety of career avenues. With this degree, you could work for colleges, technical, or vocational schools, various organizations or corporations, small (or large) businesses, or even the government.
Vocational and technical schools often hire professionals with bachelor’s in adult education/learning to teach GED courses, adult literacy, basic skills, and subjects like technology and career development. Likewise, universities and community colleges also hire continuing education instructors to teach skill- or certification-based classes.
With a bachelor’s in adult education, you could also become a training manager or specialist in a corporation. Training managers and specialists come from all backgrounds, and their goal is to create and implement training programs for employees. In addition, you could become a human resource specialist or manager for a business or organization. These professionals are typically responsible for interviewing, hiring, and supervising employees while making sure the business runs smoothly.
Bachelor’s in Adult Education/Learning Salary Potential
With a bachelor’s in adult education/learning, your salary will depend on your education, experience, skills, and of course, your career. Because there are a plethora of avenues that a bachelor’s in adult education/learning can take you, it’s difficult to give a well-rounded earning potential.
Many graduates become adult education instructors in universities, colleges, or vocational/technical schools. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an adult literacy instructor earns about $54,350 per year. Career and technical teachers earn a bit more, with an average of $58,110 annually. The highest 10% earn more than $93,000, while the lowest 10% earn below $32,580.
You can generally earn more money if you pursue careers in training and development for organizations and businesses. Training and development managers for organizations and businesses earn an average of $113,350 per year, while human resource managers bring in around $116,720 annually.
No matter what career path you pursue with a bachelor’s in adult education/learning, you will not only be marketable, but you will also have the potential to earn a great salary.
What Are the Best Bachelor’s in Adult Education/Learning Degrees?
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New York City, New York
Average Net Price
Founded in 1906 as a one-room school of accounting, Pace University, a well-ranked, private college in New York City with three campuses, has grown into one of the largest universities in New York State. With more than 13,600 current students in over 175 majors, Pace prepares its diverse student body for success in their academic and career goals by offering convenient, flexible education.
Pace University’s Bachelor of Science in professional studies is designed for adults who are working in a career, but they have not finished an undergraduate degree. In this program, you can earn up to 96 transfer and experiential credits for knowledge gained in life experience. While this program is offered in NYC’s Westchester campus, many courses can also be taken online.
In this program, you will choose to study either liberal arts or science disciplines, or both. You will take 33-55 credits in university core curriculum classes, 36 credits in your interdisciplinary major, and 48-59 credits in electives. Keep in mind that you can get up to 96 credits from past coursework and experiences that will apply to your total of 128.
Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls, Texas
Average Net Price
A public liberal arts university that values diversity, MSU ‘s students currently represent 44 states and 54 countries. If you have past college, work, or military experience and want to finish a bachelor’s degree, check out the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS).
MSU’s BAAS is designed to build on your past experiences and apply them towards credit earned to help you achieve your goals faster. You can choose from nine concentrations, including adult education. This adult education gateway program provides students with the background to work in an adult training and development organization.
In this program, you will complete 120 credit hours of occupational specialty, computer science, and adult education concentration courses. Sample courses include Trends and Issues in Training and Development and Instructional Strategies for Adult Learners. During your last semester, you will complete a 150-hour internship and a capstone project.
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A non-profit Christian university near Seattle Washington, Northwest University offers over 70 majors and programs both on-campus and online. At Northwest University, you will enjoy small classes, high-quality instruction, and continuous support for your studies. The Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies lets you design our own course of study based on your interests and career goals.
In Northwest University’s BA in interdisciplinary studies, you will choose from two or more majors to design your program. Though the opportunities are endless, some examples of self-designed programs include business management and music, health and fitness with finance, and even psychology and writing.
Once you choose your program’s focus, you will meet with the chair of interdisciplinary studies who will help you create your academic plan. In addition to general education courses, you will take 45 credit hours in your primary and secondary concentration, along with 20 elective credits.
Graduates of this interdisciplinary degree program pursue careers in business, education, information technology, and more.
University of Dayton
Average Net Price
A Catholic research university in Ohio, the University of Dayton emphasizes faith, service, and community in all of its academic programs. UD offers more than 80 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs across five colleges. If you want to teach grades 7-12, the BSE in adolescence to young adult is worth checking out.
In this program, you will choose a teaching concentration ranging from sciences to mathematics to language arts. In addition to your concentration’s content courses, you will take education courses such as Teaching, Learning and Management and Educating Diverse Student Populations. The curriculum requires field experiences throughout the program as well as student teaching during the final year.
UD’s BSE adolescent to young adult program also gives you a choice to choose an additional major in the College of Arts of Sciences. In addition, you can also earn both a Bachelor of Arts and Science and increase your marketability with a dual degree. The University of Dayton adopts a holistic admissions process and bases their decisions on academics and potential success in the classroom.
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Average Net Price
Diversity is a strong value at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Currently, minority students make up 29% of the student population, and SIU Carbondale remains nationally ranked in the number of ethnic and minority graduates. Among the many degree options is a Bachelor of Science in workforce education and development with specializations in organizational training and development and career and technical education.
SIU’s organizational training and development program prepares students for careers in instruction and training, human resources, internal auditing, and more. With this degree, graduates can pursue an Illinois professional educator license in business, marketing, technology, and more. With the career and technical education specialization, graduates are prepared for teaching careers in public secondary and technical education programs.
Both specializations include university core, professional sequence, and work experience requirements to total 120 credit hours. Sample courses include Multimedia-Based Instruction, Technical Communication, and Adult Learning. Students can also choose to minor in workforce education and development with an additional 20 credit hours.
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As one of the largest universities in Philadelphia, Temple University creates a dynamic learning community of future leaders in the world. If you are a natural leader and want the knowledge and skills to be a successful change agent, the Bachelor of Arts in adult and organizational development is for you. Rooted in effective communication, instruction, and conflict-resolution, this program teaches you to effectively lead individuals and organizations through the challenges of change.
In this program, you will take courses such as Adult Learning and Training and Conflict and Communication combined with internships and school and community partnerships to gain hands-on experience. Graduates from this program become social and community service managers and assistants in a myriad of organizations.
The College of Education and Human Development also offers a BA in adult and organizational development in combination with a Master of Education in advocacy and organizational development that can be completed in just five years. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA while in this program.
Wright State University-Main Campus
Average Net Price
Named after the Wright brothers, Wright State University is a public university in Dayton, Ohio, that offers 276 degree programs through six colleges and three schools. WSU’s Bachelor of Science in education in career, technical, and adult education is created for students who are already working as career and technical education educators.
In addition to the university’s core education classes, you will complete 82 credit hours in professional education, career and technical education and elective courses. Courses include Pre-Service Workshop for CTE Teachers, Curriculum and Assessment, and Global Engagement. While most of WSU’s courses are on campus, some are offered online to accommodate students’ scheduling needs.
In addition to practicum experiences, you will submit a capstone portfolio that demonstrates standards required by the Ohio CTE licensure standards. If you are interested in this program, you need to be currently employed as a career or technical educator, a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA, required ETS Praxis Core scores, two professional recommendations, and a writing sample.
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, California
Average Net Price
“A small campus with big ideas,” Sonoma State University, located one hour from San Francisco, offers 48 bachelor’s and 15 master’s programs. SSU’s School of Education features a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood studies that highlights advocacy for social justice equity in children. This program provides students with the background to effectively work with children from birth to age 8, along with their families.
You can choose between the following two concentrations: early childhood education, which prepares students for working in an education setting or early childhood development, where you can work with children and families in a non-education setting. Aside from general education credits, you will complete 43 major credits and 27-36 electives.
Beginning in fall 2020, this program will be available with an additional special education credential for those who want to teach children with special needs. To apply for SSU’s early childhood studies major, you need to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and schedule an appointment with the department’s major advisor.
California State University-San Bernardino
San Bernardino, California
Average Net Price
Nestled in the beautiful Bernardino mountains is California State University, San Bernardino, a college rich in history and culture. At CSUBS, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Studies. This program is designed for community college transfer students to earn a degree as a pathway to their career goals in business, management, education, training, or development.
This online program entails a combination of courses in career and technical studies, instructional technology, and entrepreneurship, totaling 76 units. Sample courses include Principles of Career and Technical Education and Personnel Management in Career and Technical Programs. A total of 182 units are required for graduation.
This degree can be coupled with CSUBU’s teaching credential program for students who want to teach in a regional occupational program (ROP) or a state-funded career/technical education program. You can also earn an E-Learning certificate and a minor in entrepreneurship. To apply, students need a minimum of 90 quarter credits with at least a 2.0 GPA.
Seton Hill University
Average Net Price
Seton University, a Catholic coeducational liberal arts university in southwestern Pennsylvania, is nationally ranked by Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. If you want to work with children and adults, but not in a traditional classroom setting, SHU’s Bachelor of Arts in educational studies is for you.
SHU’s motto “Educate Everywhere” rings true through this program. Graduates of the BA in educational studies pursue careers in daycare and preschool centers, science and history centers, museums, children’s libraries, and other community service organizations. At Seton Hill, you will choose from three specializations: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), communication and culture, or business and social science.
Students will be trained in educating children and adults in settings outside the classroom with courses such as Parent and Family Conferencing and Principles of Instructional Technologies. Graduates must complete the liberal arts curriculum requirements, the capstone project, an internship, and all required courses, totaling 120 credits to earn this BA in education studies.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out 25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Services and 15 Best Master’s in Health Education and Promotion!
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