Ball State’s master’s in adult and community education is one of just a few programs in the nation that has a strong community education focus.

Today businesses and organizations see training programs as necessary for professional development and retention of effective employees. Adult and community educators are being welcomed into the workplace to plan, design, implement, and evaluate programs for adults.

But the Ball State master’s in adult and community education will show you that teaching adults is quite different from instructing younger populations. You’ll experience a teaching theory that is frequently more collaborative and cooperative, and always student led. Different philosophies of adult education come to life with each professor you encounter. And one of your very first courses will help you develop, like your professors, your own philosophy of adult education.

Why a Master's Degree in Adult and Community Education?

Quick Facts

  Next Start Date: August 19, 2024

  • Delivery: 100% Online
  • Major Credits: 30
  • No GRE Required

National Rankings

  • Ball State is consistently highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report in best online graduate education programs.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks our Master’s Degrees in Education Programs in the top 20 for best online programs for veterans.

Double Your Major

By just taking one additional 3 credit class, you will complete a double major in adult and community education and executive development for public service.

Contact Us

Contact Sarah Jones, who can answer questions you have about our program.

What It's Like to Pursue a Master's Degree in Adult and Community Education

Why get a master’s degree in adult and community education at Ball State?

  • This master’s degree has a proven track record with a 60+-year history.
  • A program for practitioners, you’ll do projects—such as evaluating a program in your workplace—instead of taking tests.
  • Such project-based learning affords you with the opportunity to connect theories and methodologies with real-world experiences.
  • Racial and ethnic diversity is a hallmark of the program.
  • With classes averaging between 12 and 20 students, the program’s professors are your personal mentors.
  • Adult learner principles are taught and demonstrated since each professor has a different teaching philosophy.
  • You will learn to deliver adult education programs to learners of diverse backgrounds, needs, learning styles, and professional goals.
  • Up to 30 credits can be transferred into Ball State’s EdD in adult and community education.
  • You will have the opportunity to conduct or participate in research studies, present at conferences, and submit journal articles.
  • You will have access to textbook authors and internationally known leaders in the field via adult, continuing, and community education via conferences, video conferencing, and direct one-on-one communications.

Our adult and community education program allows you to gain skills in:

  • instructional design
  • staff development
  • program evaluation
  • community education development

This degree can also prepare your for entry into our doctorate in adult and community education.

Program content includes:

  • adult and community learning concepts, theories, and practices
  • educational program design, implementation, and evaluation
  • strategies for creating and sustaining learning organizations
  • interaction of educational, social, political, and economic systems within communities

Course Requirements

The master’s in adult and community education program requires completion of at least 30 credits of graduate course work. A minimum of 18 credits must be completed in the major, supplemented in by a research course and electives from the major or related subjects. If you choose electives from the major, you are encouraged to design an area of concentration (9 credits) in either adult or community education. You must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. An exact program is designated to fit students' needs and meet degree requirements.

For a full list of required courses, see the course catalog.

View Catalog

Courses for the master of arts in adult and community education are chosen from the following:

All of these courses are required.

  • *EDAC 631 Adult and Community Education (3 credits) 
  • +EDAC 632 Organizing Adult and Community Education Programs (3 credits)  
    Online-only students can negotiate another course with advisor for this on-campus course. 
  • *EDAC 634 The Adult as a Learner (3 credits) 
  • *EDAC 635 Strategies for Teaching Adults (3 credits) 
  • +EDAC 638 Program Planning in Community and Adult Education (3 credits) 
    Online-only students can substitute EDST 655 or EDAC 681 for this on-campus course.
  • *EDAC 648 The Community Educator (3 credits) 

*Online-only courses

+With advisor approval, on-site courses can be substituted with online-only courses.

In addition to core courses, you must either write a master's thesis or select one of the following research courses:

  • EDPS 640 Methodology of Educational and Psychological Research (3 credits)
  • EDHI 660 Ethnographic Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 697 The Grant Process and Research (3 credits)
  • THES 698 Thesis (3-6 credits)

In addition, you must complete 9 additional credits in adult and community education or from any other related field at Ball State. Your advisor can help you find classes that best fit your career goals.

Adult Education Courses

  • *EDAC 629 Psychology of Adult Adjustment (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 655 Continuing Education for Professionals (3 credits) 
  • EDAC 699 Internship in Adult and Community Education (2-6 credits)
  • *EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)
  • EDST 680 Staff Development to Strengthen Curriculum (3 credits)

*Offered online 

Community Education Courses

  • EDAC 644 Collaborative Learning in Adult, Higher, and Community Education (3 credits) 
  • *EDAC 646 Working with Volunteers in Community Agencies (3 credits) 
  • *EDAC 681 Managing Community Education (3 credits)
  • EDAC 699 Internship in Adult and Community Education (2-6 credits)
  • EDCU 675 Evaluation of Educational Personnel to Strengthen Curriculum (3 credits)
  • *EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits) 

*Offered online

Federal Employees Pay In-State Tuition

Ball State has joined the Federal Academic Alliance and is offering reduced tuition rates for all eligible, non-Indiana resident Federal Government Employees (civil servants), spouses, dependents, and retirees who enroll in online graduate-level programs and courses through Ball State’s Teachers College. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Review deadlines, admission requirements, and application materials, then start your application.

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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