More and more people are returning to school to revamp their careers or update their skills, and that means growing opportunities for people passionate about adult education.

The concentration in Adult and Continuing Education Leadership prepares students for leadership positions in a wide range of postsecondary programs, including vocational and technical education, university extension, continuing education, training and human resource development, adult basic education, adult literacy, and community education.

Why Choose Our Program?

As a student in UWM’s School of Education, you’ll benefit from all that our adult education graduate program offers:

  • Academic study based on knowledge of the social sciences and educational research relevant to adult education.
  • An academic program designed around the special interests, training, and challenges of students and the organizations in which they work or hope to work, in the United States or abroad.
  • Internationally known faculty at Wisconsin’s most diverse university.
  • Small class sizes that allow you to really get to know your professors and classmates.
  • Flexible class options, including classes that meet once a week, alternating weeks and online.
  • Opportunities for supervised field intern experience.

Program Information

Program Overview and Courses (PDF)

Focus Areas

Administration and Program Development
The field of adult education involves more people than all of elementary, secondary and higher education combined. One of the fundamental challenges facing adult educators is to find effective ways of responding to the changing and complex needs of their constituents.

The effective adult educator not only uses appropriate processes in discovering adult needs, but also uses sensitivity and diagnostic ability to interpret the nature of the problems and concerns of the people in setting institutional objectives. The person develops an administrative organization and selects and trains staff members for that organization.

Examples of administrative positions include deans or directors of university general extension or cooperative extension; directors and supervisors of public school, private school and college adult programs, as well as similar personnel in vocational technical schools and nonprofit organizations; student services administrators in colleges and universities; program coordinators; health care administrators; supervisory personnel; and coordinators of volunteers, to name a few administrative and supervisory roles.

Program Requirements Sheet (PDF)

Human Resource and Workforce Development
Adult educators are often hired to provide educational activities in preparation for employment or to enhance the productivity and job-related performance of employees. This focus area emphasizes ways in which adult education informs human resource development, continuing professional education, training and organizational development. It will prepare you to work in a variety of settings, including as a coordinator, manager or director of staff development; training; continuing professional education; literacy programs; instructional design; consulting; and workplace learning programs.

Program Requirements & Overview Sheet (PDF)

Instructional Design, Educational Technology, and Online Support Services
Growth and innovation in communication and information technologies have led to rapid changes in the field of adult and continuing education. Organizations continue to emphasize extensive use of technology-based communication to deliver courses or programs that help provide better access and convenience, as well as a flexible way to support adult learners’ occupational opportunities.

This focus area emphasizes the use of technology for instruction of adults, instructional design, online education, issues related to the use of technology for adult learning, and online student support services. It will prepare you to work as an instructional designer; a technology consultant; academic success coach; center manager; tutoring coordinator; online advisor; student service personnel; or adult educator in staff development, training, business, or continuing education settings.

Program Requirements & Overview Sheet (PDF)

Vocational Technical Education
Vocational and technical education programs help prepare individuals for fields as business occupations, marketing and distributive occupations, health occupations, technical and emerging occupations, modern industrial and agricultural arts, trade and industrial occupations, and other occupations that don’t require a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

Whether you’re a current or future employee in a vocational or technical institution, our program will help you become more effective in the development and delivery of programs and services to students, enhance your career options, and meet certification requirements of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Program Requirements Sheet (PDF)

Customized Program of Study
Our program also allows you to customize your studies to fit your personal goals. Each program is developed in consultation with an advisor. It includes courses common to the other program tracks but provides maximum flexibility in selection of focus and foundational courses. Examples of career tracks include health care, adult literacy and basic education, leadership of volunteer programs, nonprofit organizational leadership, leadership of youth-serving organizations, and program direction for older adults.

Program Requirements Sheet (PDF)

Online Focus Areas

Human Resource and Workforce Development
This program prepares you for leadership positions in a wide range of areas: pre-employment training and workforce development, staff development and continuing professional education focusing on job-related skills and competencies, as well as leadership and management development. All courses are taught online.

Benefits of the online program include:

  • Convenience – you study at your own time and pace.
  • Excellent student support services – 24/7 help desk, financial aid, virtual library and online registration.
  • Ability to complete a master’s degree program in two years.
  • Ability to grow and develop in writing, in-depth exploration of human resource and workforce development theoretical frameworks, and practical application.
  • Courses taught online by full-time, nationally recognized faculty members with practitioner experience.
  • Tradition of a long-term, accredited university.

Program Requirements & FAQ Sheet (PDF)

Instructional Design, Educational Technology, and Online Support Services
This focus area emphasizes the use of technology for instruction of adults, instructional design, online education, issues related to the use of technology for adult learning, and online student support services. It is designed for individuals interested in working as instructional designers; technology consultants; academic success coaches; center managers; tutoring coordinators; online advisors; student service personnel; or adult educators in staff development, training, business, or continuing education settings. All courses are taught online.

Benefits of the online program include:

  • Convenience – you study at your own time and pace.
  • Excellent student support services – 24/7 help desk, financial aid, virtual library and online registration.
  • Ability to complete a master’s degree program in two years.
  • Ability to grow and develop in writing; in-depth exploration of instructional design, education technology and online support services; and practical application.
  • Courses taught online by full-time, nationally recognized faculty members with practitioner experience.
  • Tradition of a long-term, accredited university.

Program Requirements & Overview Sheet (PDF)

Portfolio Information

Adult & Continuing Education Leadership Portfolio Information

Advising

For More Information

Simone C.O. Conceição, PhD
Professor, Program Coordinator
(414) 416-4248
simonec@uwm.edu