Adult, Professional, and Higher Education

APHE Master’s of Education Program

OverviewAdmissions InformationCurriculum | Program Structure

Program Structure

Coursework in the Master’s of Education in Adult, Professional and Higher Education consists of student-centered approaches to teaching and learning that include critical reflection, research projects, collaborative learning opportunities and discussions that provide for in-depth and challenging learning experiences which can be applied to one’s immediate and future work and life context.

In consultation with their advisor, students choose a specific focus area in either adult education, professional education or higher education. Courses are offered in an online (web) format for students who have additional commitments such as child and family care and/or inflexible work schedules. The online (web) format follows the same rigorous curricula as brick-and-mortar options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for our graduates. The program also offers face-to-face format for those students who have the flexibility and may prefer to attend in person. The APHE Master's program offer these specializations:


Adult Learning and Development Specialization

Adult education spans a variety of areas. Individuals may choose to work with learners who are developing basic skills in literacy or high school equivalency programs. Adult educators design and implement programs in community-based organizations such as non-profits, museums, or community recreation centers. Adult educators work in correctional facilities to help individuals develop life and employment skills. Despite the disparate nature of these positions, they have a core skill set. Educators in these areas have a strong understanding of adult learning and development theories, they understand how to utilize a variety of instructional methods that are appropriate for their content and population, and they understand how to effectively design and evaluate programs.

Students who choose the adult learning and devlopment specialization may pursue a career as a(n):

1. GED/HS Equivalency instructor,

2. Corrections educator,

3. Adult literacy teacher,

4. Program coordinator,

5. Community school administrator,

6. Educational policy maker,

7. Instructional designer, or

8. Employee of a non-profit agency (cultural institution, senior citizen center, zoo).


Higher Education Specialization

Individuals who enjoy working in a collaborative setting and helping college students achieve their goals, should choose the higher education specialization. The higher education specialization was created for students who are drawn to, and have a heart for, creating inclusive campus environments for all students.

Students will understand what it means to focus on students and study their experiences. Students will become well versed in student development theory, including the student experience, and how college affects students. Students will have a thorough grasp of effective management and leadership in higher education, and will gain the tools necessary to successfully navigate issues of diversity and social justice in higher education.

Students who choose the higher education specialization may pursue a career at a 4-year/2-year institution or a vocational/technical school in areas such as:

1. College admissions counselor,

2. Alumni affairs representative,

3. University registrar,

4. Collegiate athletics coordinator,

5. Residence life director,

6. Student advocacy coordinator,

7. Student activities coordinator,

8. Career development counselor, or

9. Academic advisor.


Instructional Design and Technology Specialization

The certificate in Instructional Design and Technology focuses on professionals who are interested in designing and developing educational programs that are mediated by technology.  This includes educators who are engaged in online instruction in higher education, training, and development, or community-based education geared toward adult learners.  Emphasis will be on adult learning theories, online learning, instructional design, and program evaluation.

Students who choose the instructional design and technology specialization may pursue a career as a(n):

1. Instructional designer,

2. Learning consultant,

3. Content developer,

4. Learning content manager,

5. Learning and development specialist,

6. Digital learning coordinator,

7. Technology specialist,

8. eLearning developer,

9. Corporate training developer.


Professional Education Specialization

As the workplace becomes more complex and specialized, there is an urgent need to develop effective programs that are tailored to learners. Organizations seek individuals who are able to identify skill and knowledge gaps, able to design education programs to address these gaps, and are able to evaluate whether these programs have successful outcomes. Educational or training specialists are skilled in designing programs based on a sound theoretical understanding of why particular instructional approaches are effective. In addition, they understand organizational development and processes and this allows them to operate effectively within complex systems. Finally, they understand how to effectively manage and engage diverse groups of people.

Students who choose the professional education specialization may pursue a career as a(n):

1. Training and development facilitator,

2. Human resources representative,

3. Employee relation specialist,

4. Program coordinator,

5. Organizational development specialist,

6. Continuing education planner, or

7. Healthcare educator.