Adult Education Degree
When one thinks of teaching, thoughts usually run to a typical classroom setting. We may have visions of wide-eyed children absorbing all the wisdom that the classroom teacher is imparting. For most teachers, that is (sort of) the case. But for some teachers, that classroom is made up of adults, not children. For individuals who wish to teach adults, an adult education degree should be considered.
What is adult education?
As the name implies, adult education is the teaching, or training, of adults. The instruction may lead to some type of diploma or degree, although some adult education is for professional development purposes. There are three major areas of adult education.
- Most adult education takes place in colleges, universities, and vocational schools.
- Communities across the country provide classes enabling adults to complete their high school education and earn a general education degree. Typically known as a GED, this diploma allows adults who never finished high school the opportunity to enter the workforce, advance in their current jobs, or to seek higher education.
- Many large corporations hire educators to conduct specialized training for staff members.
What are the requirements to become an adult educator?
A background in education is a good start, but some specialized training is helpful to become an adult educator.
- An adult educator typically has some education and/or work experience in a specific field. An adult education degree tends to builds upon education and work experience, qualifying educators to not only work in their particular field, but to teach skills in that field as well. Adult educators encourage and enable adults to further their education.
- Teaching in post-secondary schools usually requires a college degree. Some work experience in the field being taught, along with education is often essential.
- Particularly helpful to individuals wanting to teach adults or children is that the educator love teaching. He or she should possess strong communication and interpersonal skills. It is also important that the educator be able to work well with diverse populations.
What classes will the adult educator need to take?
Programs may vary across the country, but most adult education degree programs will entail the same basic courses.
- An emphasis should be made in the area of adult growth and development. After all, adults learn differently than children. This will require different teaching methodologies.
- Courses in adult psychology should be included as a part of the curriculum.
- Classes that help the educator prepare interesting and informative lessons should be included in the coursework.
How can you earn an adult education degree?
This is the easy part! Classes leading to a degree in adult education are taught at hundreds of colleges across the country!
- Classes leading to this degree are taught on almost every public and private university campus in the country. Hundreds of programs exist, and many are taught during night and weekend classes.
- Since more and more education takes place online, it is only natural to expect that the prospective student can find programs to meet their needs via the internet. A number of accredited colleges offer degree programs in adult education. Thanks to technology, it is entirely possible to earn that adult education degree without ever leaving the home. It should also be noted that the adult educator may often teach via online classes, so online classes are a natural delivery option.
How much money can the adult educator earn?
Salaries vary depending on the education level of the teacher and where the work is performed.
- A U.S. Department of Labor report recently reported that teachers of adult literacy and other remedial courses earned an average annual salary of $38,979.
- Post-secondary teachers at universities and trade schools experience a wide gap in salaries. Instructors, who typically work in technical and trade school settings report earnings of just under $40,000 per year, while college professors earn in excess of $72,000.
- Adult educators who work in corporate settings earn an average salary of $67,000 per year.
Teaching is an incredibly rewarding job. If you love to teach and work well with people, the path to an adult education degree may lead to your ideal career!