Adult Learning and Leadership Master's Degree
The 33-credit hour Adult Learning and Leadership master's degree helps working adults from a wide variety of professions become better educators, trainers, facilitators, program planners, managers, and leaders.
See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.
To learn more about the program, check out this video:
All students are required to meet the general university admission requirements.
Your application must include the following:
- Statement of objectives – State your academic objectives in one to two pages and include the following information:
- career and professional goals and aspirations and how being accepted to the program will specifically benefit your goals and aspirations
- description of relevant professional experience within education or a related field
- future professional plans
- Resume/curriculum vitae
Core coursework examines characteristics of adult learners, explores motivational, social, and cultural differences, develops skills in planning and evaluating programs for adults, and helps professionals better understand how adults develop and learn.
- EDACE 780 – Introduction to Adult Learning and Leadership
This is a foundation course that acquaints the student with the diverse and evolving field of adult education. It provides a systematic base for further studies in adult education. The broad purpose of this course is to have students explore the scope and significance of the field and its contributions to present-day learning in society. The student should leave this course with the beginning perspective of how adult education emerged, how it is presently changing, and how it interrelates with other fields and disciplines.
- EDACE 790 – Characteristics of the Adult Learner
The purpose of this course is to help the student gain increased knowledge about the characteristics of adults and how these impact learning. Students will be asked to develop a critical understanding of relevant theories, concepts, and research. Lastly, they will develop a better understanding of themselves as an adult learner.
- EDACE 818 – Critical and Social Issues in Adult Learning
This course is designed for adult learning and leadership students and college or university personnel in sociology and related fields dealing with adults. It is based on the premise that learning is affected by society, government, and economics. Included is an in-depth examination of the relationship between adult learning and culture.
- EDACE 830 – Program Planning in Adult Learning and Leadership
This course includes an analysis of major approaches of program planning and development and discussion of assumptions related to successful program planning in several types of organizations. It outlines the importance of program planning and elements of a systematic planning process.
- EDCEP 816 – Research Methods in Education (or approved equivalent)
This course will focus upon the fundamental principles and methods of social science research. Additionally, it will provide an opportunity for students to become critical readers of research-based literature in adult education through developing an understanding of the key aspects of quantitative, qualitative, and action-based analytical methods and research traditions.
Students can customize their program to meet professional needs by choosing electives from among over 25 electives to provide a broad perspective or narrow focus area. The Adult Learning, Leadership Dynamics, or Social Justice graduate certificates can be used to satisfy the elective requirement.
- EDCAE 750 – Women, Education, Leadership and Work
This course emphasizes the collective and individual educational needs of women in and out of the work force and the part that occupational/educational preparation contributes to their participation in the work force.
- EDACE 765 – Adult Learners and Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum
This course includes an in-depth study of methods for integrating innovative technologies into the curriculum for adult learners. With an in-depth understanding of adult learners, students will analyze learning theories and appropriate technologies for relevance, effectiveness, and alignment with course curriculum.
- EDACE 785 – Designing Curriculum and Classroom Instruction for Adult Learners
This course focuses on the systematic approach to instructional design for adult learners. A comprehensive discussion of all major components of curriculum design from instructional objectives, course sequencing, instructional strategies, formative assessments and summative evaluations will be included. A major focus will also be on transfer of learning.
- EDACE 816 – Foundations of Social Justice
This course focuses on the principles of social justice education that promote equitable, sustainable, and transformative change in various formal and non-formal educational settings across the lifespan. The course integrates theoretical and practical aspects of social justice in local, national and international settings such as K-12 formal education, higher education, adult education, community development, and family education, and agricultural education.
- EDACE 817 – Reflective Practice in Social Justice Education Capstone
This course focuses on the application of principles of social justice education in informal and formal educational settings. Student-conceptualized and -implemented theory-to-practice social justice education projects serve as the capstone or culmination of the graduate certificate, with projects presenting powerful opportunities for students to foster social change and positively impact the communities in which they work.
- EDACE 815 – Introduction to Community Educational Development
This class offers a comprehensive review of factors related to community change and the role of educational programs in dealing with them. Emphasis is on educational and economic problem-solving approaches and change-implementing programs.
- EDACE 820 – Principles of Teaching Adults
This course will explore the theory and practice of teaching adults. Collaborative and active learning techniques will be emphasized in face-to-face and online environments. Students will examine the strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate application of a variety of methods to different adult education environments.
- EDACE 822 – International Adult Education and Literacy
This course provides an introduction to the foundations of global, political, social-economic and educational issues facing international adult education and literacy students for English as a Second Language learner.
- EDACE 824 – Teaching Online in Adult Learning
This course examines online adult learning theories, online pedagogies, current research, and trends in e-education for the workplace and higher education.
- EDACE 832 – Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Dynamics in Adult Learning and Leadership
This course explores various psychological and sociological factors that impact leadership. Through examining topics like verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, learning and presentation styles, emotional intelligence, conflict, and motivation, students gain a deeper understanding of how these factors affect their personal leadership styles and impact adults they are leading.
- EDACE 834 – Leading Adults in a Globalized and Diverse World
This course provides an introduction to the foundations of adult education leadership in the context of managing a culturally diverse workforce. Concepts of globalization as well as cross- cultural and international environments as they relate to adult education leadership are emphasized through theory to practice projects and research.
- EDACE 835 – Developing Teams and Adult Leaders
This course will examine how teams and leaders can be developed using adult learning and leadership theories and principles.
- EDACE 836 – Group Dynamics in Adult Learning and Leadership
This course focuses on group and team behavior and processes in the adult education environment. Various factors that impact group behavior, processes, and effectiveness will be examined and participants will learn skills needed to more effectively manage and facilitate groups and teams of adults to achieve organizational objectives, accomplish tasks, and fulfill individual members' needs.
- EDACE 837 – Quality Programs and Staff Management in Adult Learning and Leadership
Utilizes the use of adult education theories of program administration to enhance student understanding of staff and team dynamics. Focuses on developing interpersonal skills so that students can be more effective leaders, problem solvers, motivators, coaches, and change managers.
- EDACE 845 – Social Media and Adults in 21st Century
This course addresses the most popular social media and helps students understand the promise and challenge that social media has brought to 21st century working adults. Example topics include but are not limited to Social Media and adult learning, Social Media in the workforce, and new technology literacy in 21st century.
- EDACE 847 – Adult Learning and Motivation
This course will examine current adult learning and motivational concepts. Emphasis will be on gaining an understanding of how to create learning environments that enhance adult motivation to learn. Additionally, the practical application of learning theories in the classroom will be explored.
- EDACE 860 – Innovative Higher Education Programs for Adults
Designed to provide a conceptual understanding of innovative systems and structures currently serving higher education needs of adult learners. The course will provide a historical basis for the development of these programs as well as future trends. Included will be discussions of corporate colleges, external degree programs and distance/online learning.
- EDACE 875 – Program Evaluation in Adult Learning and Leadership
This course will provide an overview of various methods and strategies for evaluating educational programs for adults. Students will have the opportunity to examine the literature that is related to the program evaluation process in adult education settings. Opportunities to study the manner in which the process of program evaluation is conducted in modern programs for adults in governmental, educational, and private and public sector organizations will also be provided.
- EDACE 880 – Significant Literature of Adult Learning
This course is a seminar studying the significant literature of adult learning from a current and historic perspective.
- EDACE 886 – Seminars in Adult Learning and Leadership
Specialized topic courses.
The culminating project of the Master’s degree program is development of a learning portfolio, which is submitted during the final semester of enrollment.
The K-State Graduate School requires comprehensive examinations. In order to fulfill this requirement, the Adult Learning and Leadership master's degree adopted a Program Completion Portfolio as the final examination. The portfolio is a collection of artifacts from assignments completed while in the program and reflections on the learning and why the artifact demonstrates mastery of the student learning outcome (SLO). An artifact and reflection will be completed for each student learning outcome for the M.S. in Adult Learning and Leadership program.
A learning portfolio emphasizes students' knowledge and, more significantly, their understanding of how and why this knowledge fits into a larger framework. An important component to this portfolio is the reflection on each artifact.
Entries in the Program Completion Portfolio
Artifacts are assignments completed in the adult learning and leadership course work. If students complete courses in other departments (e.g. academic advising, conflict resolution), artifacts should not be selected from those assignments. Students will submit two artifacts for each student learning outcome (SLO).
- SLO Section
Choose artifacts (no more than two artifacts per SLO) from any of the adult learning and leadership required or elective courses completed, which you believe demonstrates satisfaction of the following student learning outcomes (any artifact may satisfy up to two SLOs):
- SLO 1: Students will be able to articulate an understanding of the breadth and depth of the literature in the field of adult education.
- SLO 2: Demonstrate knowledge of research methodologies.
- SLO 3: Demonstrate an understanding of social issues affecting adult learning and leadership.
- SLO 4: Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of technology on adult education and adult learning.
- SLO 5: Demonstrate effective written communication skills.
- SLO 6: Demonstrate the ability to synthesize complex information.
- SLO 7: Recognize moral and ethical responsibilities within the adult learning and leadership profession and practice professional ethics.
- Reflection Essay (per Student Learning Outcome)
- SLO Reflection Essay
Students will write a two-page reflection essay on the topic of each SLO. In the essay, students should demonstrate their knowledge on the topic of the SLO.
- Final Reflection Essay
Review all the portfolio documents accumulated. Approximately two weeks prior to the portfolio due date (listed on the K-State Online Portfolio site), write a reflective essay (three to five pages) answering these issues/ideas:
- How are you different than when you first began this program?
- What applications or language do you have for the future?
- What values will help in your future endeavors?
- How will this change affect the way you work in the field of adult education or in your current profession?
- The Artifacts, SLO Reflection Essay, and the Final Reflective Essay will all be uploaded in a designated dropbox in the K-State Online Portfolio site.
At the appropriate time, students will be sent links to the following assessments:
- Complete Master of Adult Learning and Leadership Student Learning Self-Assessment.
A link will be sent to the student one month prior to the Portfolio Due Date.
- Complete Master of Adult Learning and Leadership End-of-Program Survey.
A link will be sent to the student one month prior to Commencement.
Once students are admitted to the degree program and begin their first course, they should email Dr. Royce Ann Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) and request to be added to the Portfolio Canvas course. Throughout the courses, students can gradually build the portfolio. Documents will be uploaded into each SLO assignment area in K-State Online during the month prior to the due date. Within K-State Online, there are discussion board posts and FAQs for the Portfolio development. The Portfolio must be complete during the last semester of enrollment in the program.
Presentation and Quality
The Portfolio is to be completed as a Word or PDF file. For Word documents, one-inch margins, double spacing, and at least 12-point font are to be used as well as APA style guidelines. Graduate quality writing is expected for the portfolio documents.
The entire portfolio will be reviewed by the adult learning and leadership faculty. The portfolio will be evaluated for the thoughtfulness and conceptualization; substantive and relevant content; demonstration of knowledge; and technical presentation (e.g., writing style, organization and flow, APA style, grammar). The evaluation rubric will be used by the department only for program improvement. The student will be notified of "Pass" or "Fail."
Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
If you have any condition, such as physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as outlined or which will require academic accommodations, please notify your advisor before creating your portfolio.
Kansas State University has an Honor System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance in academic matters one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. All students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor System. The policies and procedures of the Honor System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. To find more information and examples of actions that would be considered academic dishonesty, check out the K-State Honor and Integrity System website.