Master of Science-Adult and Higher Education

The curriculum of the program addresses a broad, but focused set of foundational competencies any adult educator needs: Teaching or workforce training, program planning, instructional design, assessing individual learning and evaluating program outcomes, communicating, facilitating change, assessing educational needs for staff development, and leading programs designed for long-term organizational performance. Sectors or types of employers in which our graduates can obtain careers are: 

  • Workforce Development for Business/industry
  • Federal  or state agencies with a staff development/training function
  • Literacy Programs or Adult Basic Education
  • Agricultural Extension services
  • Faith-Based organizations
  • Community Colleges
  • Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement
  • Life-Coaching
  • Community/Civic sector (non-profit) or social programs where adult learning is incorporated
  • Higher Education - College teaching, Student Services, Academic Advising, Institutional Advancement or Campus Life services
  • Instructional Technology - Course design for on-line delivery, E-learning

The program is comprised of a total of 36 SCH; the program focuses on Workforce Development/Human Resource Development, but students may tailor their assignments and projects to a specific field of practice, such as industry,  instructional technology, adult literacy/ GED, community education or a faith-based context. If a student should desire an emphasis in the Higher Education context, nine SCH of coursework may be taken in Higher Education administration through our cross-enrollment arrangement with Texas A&M University-Commerce.  A substitution form is required from the program coordinator; 9 SCH in Higher Education may be taken in lieu of the general elective (3 SCH), AHED 513 (3-SCH) and AHED 514 (3-SCH) on the degree plan.

Each course challenges students to intellectually consider the intersections of theory, research and practice but supplies practical skills and personal competencies needed for success. The core curriculum is based on the curricular guidelines of the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE). 

Special Feature:  Articulation of Prior Learning (3 SCH)

This program allows 3 SCH of graduate credit for a student’s prior learning, attained from formal, structured courses, workshops, or training programs offered in the private sector, military (via ACE transcript), federal/state, or the community sector. The knowledge to be articulated into graduate credit must be directly related to the overall content of the AHED degree and/or field of teaching/training adult learners or higher education. The knowledge/skills must be equivalent to the graduate course level.  To apply for prior learning assessment (PLA) credit, a student must be fully admitted to the AHED program and present a dossier/portfolio to the Program Coordinator, containing the credentials/certificate attained from the course, documentation of workshop hours and the program’s content, and a discussion of competencies and knowledge the student obtained; application of the knowledge through a strong level of analytical reflection is a significant aspect of this assessment.  A rubric is provided for the assessment process. A presentation of the content and reflection on learning may also be required of the student before the knowledge is accredited and noted on the transcript for 3 SCH in AHED 589.  An assessment fee is charged to the student if credit is awarded.

Program Delivery Format

AHED is a low-residency program; while not delivered completely on-line, courses are delivered on  weekday evenings, on-line, hybrid or selected Saturday/hybrid

Final Components required for graduation:

  1. Passing score on the Graduate comprehensive examination taken during final term
  2. Satisfactory score on the culminating capstone portfolio. 

Unique Features of This Program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana Campus

  • Small class sizes
  • Faculty are personable and very approachable
  • Emphasis in Workforce Development/Human Resource Development/General Adult Education, or Higher Education (courses available on-line through cross-enrollment program with Texas A&M University-Commerce)
  • Students gain skills and competencies, in addition to theory
  • Incorporates project-based learning and other high-impact practices that build marketable competencies
  • Students produce a portfolio throughout the program, a valuable marketing tool for students!
  • Low-residency, hybrid/evening/selected Saturday delivery for all courses

Time to Degree Completion: Can be completed in two years (based on a student taking 6 SCH per term)  or slightly less if student is full-time

Cost for Planning Purposes:  Approximately $ 12,000 including textbooks (tuition and fee costs are locked in for two years upon entrance to the program)     

What Specific Careers are Available for our Graduates?

  • Training specialists in the for-profit or non-profit sector, such as manufacturing, healthcare, or any context where staff and employee development takes place
  • Training and Development Manager
  • Education and Development Manager
  • Training and Development Coordinator
  • Technical Trainer
  • Instructor for Career and Technical fields at Community Colleges or Proprietary schools
  • Staff positions or Leadership roles in the Community College or other higher education settings
  • Curriculum designers or program planners
  • Director of Adult Basic Education or a Literacy Council
  • County Extension Agents
  • Military Trainers
  • Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Trainers
  • Staff in Civic, Social and Non-Profit Organizations
  • Teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) to Adults

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or 2.90 GPA in last 60 hours of undergraduate degree program
  • Three recommendation letters from faculty and/or employers
  • Cover letter of interest, citing professional goals and why the student believes this program is suitable for him/her; cite some academic background information as well
  • Advising session with Program Coordinator prior to entering the program – can be accomplished in person or by telephone
  • Resume
  • Extemporaneous writing sample conducted on-site
  • Official scores on the GRE or MAT

Requirements must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office in the College of Arts and Sciences and Education (CASE) by the designated deadline of first semester of enrollment.