Master of Science-Adult and Higher Education

This degree prepares individuals to teach or train adult learners in any context, lead organizations toward greater productivity and  change lives in communities!  The track in Higher Education prepares individuals for careers in higher education, particularly staff roles in Student/Campus Life, Academic Advising, Institutional Advancement, Adult-friendly academic offices, or for any program that services the college student. 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 21 SCH of core requirements and 12 SCH in which the student selects from a list of electives.  With these course options, students may tailor their program of instruction to a more specific field of practice, such as higher education, workforce training and development, instructional technology, adult literacy or GED, or even take courses in a discipline for undergraduate teaching (Instruction Track). 

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). 

AHED is a low-residency program; while not delivered completely on-line, the core courses are delivered in a low-residency, hybrid format where students take one of two core classes on three scheduled Saturdays.  Summer and other courses are available on-line. A "Leader in Action" Luncheon is a unique feature of the program, where the classes meet together for a complimentary lunch and hear from a dynamic practitioner/leader in the field. The program is designed to be completed in two years if one takes 6 SCH per term. 

Final Components required for graduation:

  1. Passing score on the Graduate comprehensive examination taken during final term
  2. Successful completion of the graduate project in AHED 588, taken in the final term. 

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

  • Small class sizes
  • Tracks:  (1) Workforce Development/Human Resource Development/General Adult Education, (2) Higher Education (courses are available on-line through cross-enrollment program with Texas A&M University-Commerce); Instruction in specific discipline
  • 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, Saturday delivery for the core courses - The core courses meet three Saturdays of each term, with a "Leaders in Action" luncheon provided between the courses.  This lunch is designed as an educational and networking event where students can hear dynamic practitioner/leaders speak on contemporary, "hot" issues related to the profession.  This is a great way to network with leaders in the field and get to know about organizations and jobs.

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
  • Instructional Technologists
  • 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
  • Minimum of cumulative 2.50 GPA or 2.50 GPA in last 60 hours of undergraduate degree program
  • Three recommendation letters from faculty and/or employers
  • Two-page Essay on life and professional and/or academic background, accompanied by a cover letter of interest
  • Advising session with Program Coordinator
  • Resume
  • Extemporaneous writing sample conducted on-site
  • Official scores on the GRE or MAT

Requirements must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office by the designated deadline of first semester of enrollment.

Degree Requirements

Students should refer to their DegreeWorks degree audit in their Web for Students account for more information regarding their degree requirements.

Interdisciplinary Core Course
ED 520Education Research Literature and Techniques3
Major Courses
AHED 520Professions and Practices in Adult and Higher Education3
AHED 526Adult Learning and Development3
AHED 527Program Planning in Adult Education3
AHED 528Instructional Design and Methodology3
Instructional Technology (ITED) Elective (500 level course)3
AHED 588Graduate Capstone: Teaching/Training Symposium3
Professional Focus Area
Select one of the following options:12
Higher Education:
12 semester credit hours in AHED
Adult Education/Human Resource Development:
12 semester credit hours in HRD
12 semester credit hours of Graduate Courses in a Single Discipline
Total Minimum Hours33

Graduate Courses in Adult and Higher Education

AHED 505. Higher Education in the 21st Century. 3 Hours.

The course presents an overview of the status of American higher education, specifically examining the social, political, and economic forces challenging institutions. Finance, federal and state governance, student demographics, curricular changes and academic leadership are key points of study.

AHED 508. Student Services Administration in Higher Education. 3 Hours.

This course is designed as an introduction to the roles, functions, and skills necessary for college student personnel professionals. Students will learn the theory and practices relative to the three basic approaches to the profession: counseling, student development, and organizational leadership. A cursory history of the profession will also be included, as well as current trends and issues.

AHED 513. Overview of Human Resource Development. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction and overview to the discipline of Human Resource Development. The course addresses the processes of planning and implementing organizational training systems, assessing educational and developmental needs of employees, and examines the various applications of the HRD field used to enhance employee performance.

AHED 514. Workforce Training and Development. 3 Hours.

This is an overview of training and development processes and methods used in organizations to improve individual and organizational performance. Specific topics include the role and competencies of the training specialist, methods of conducting needs assessment and task analysis, adult learning and course design principles, delivery methods, evaluating training, and other developmental activities appropriate for the contemporary for-profit and non-profit work organization.

AHED 515. Organization Development. 3 Hours.

The field of Organization Development is one of three primary functions of the discipline of Human Resource Development, which is a focus area for the AHED program. This course presents an overview of how planned behavioral and socio-technical interventions, at the macro and micro levels, can improve the effectiveness of an organization as a whole. The role of the HRD professional, acting as change agent or facilitator, will be emphasized. Theoretical foundations and practical change strategies used in an OD process will be studied. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

AHED 520. Professions and Practices in Adult and Higher Education. 3 Hours.

This course provides students a survey of the major dimensions of the field of adult education, an overview of its goals and purposes, constituencies, providers and agencies within the United States, and major figures that have contributed to the research and practice in the field. The course will explore the status of the profession in the United States, and the interrelationship of adult education and the contemporary higher education area.

AHED 526. Adult Learning and Development. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on adult learning theories and principles, characteristics of adults as learners, phases of the adult life and factors that influence the development of adults, particularly the cognitive and emotional. Various types of learning models are addressed, such as formal, incidental, informal and self-directed. Students also analyze learning styles, and the adult's motivation for learning. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

AHED 527. Program Planning in Adult Education. 3 Hours.

This course examines the principles and procedures in program planning for adult education forums, such as comprehensive training sessions, conferences, and symposiums. Students will be introduced to various models and theories for planning, current trends and issues, and skill areas including context analysis, budget planning, project management, ethical considerations, and program evaluation.

AHED 528. Instructional Design and Methodology. 3 Hours.

This course examines the principles and practices of designing instruction for adult learners and methods to deliver content. Specific topics include lesson planning, content sequence, selection and use of methods, practices for the diverse classroom, learning needs and styles, motivational factors, and creating materials for a variety of contexts. Traditional methods, as well as innovative approaches, for education/training will be addressed.

AHED 588. Graduate Capstone: Teaching/Training Symposium. 3 Hours.

As the program captstone course, students perform all aspects of designing and teaching adults in a field-based venue on two different occasions. Students are expected to apply the adult learning theories, concepts, and teaching methodology they have learned throughout the program and are assessed on several dimensions per an evaluation rubric. An internship may also be used for the practicum within an educational setting such as university/community college or for-profit or non-profit organization with an educational function.

AHED 589. Ind Study in AHED. 3 Hours.

This course provides individual instruction. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.

AHED 597. Special Topics. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to teach students about interpersonal communication, application of theoretical concepts to the analysis of interpersonal interactions, become aware of individual strengths and weaknesses when functioning in interpersonal contexts, and to develop skills for more effective interpersonal relationships. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

ED 520. Education Research Literature and Techniques. 3 Hours.

This course addresses the process and tools to locate, read, understand, and critique education research. The fundamental techniques of planning, conducting, and reporting qualitative and quantitative research will also be considered. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Alternative Certification Program.


Dr. Gaynell Green

Associate Professor of Adult Education