Adult Education

Associate Degree in Adult Education: A Complete Guide (2024)

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Understand what it takes to achieve an Associate degree in Adult Education, including what it is, the pros and cons, steps to get it, duration, online choices, subjects you'll study, and career options.

Key Points

  • An associate degree in Adult Education provides a solid foundation in teaching and learning principles for adult learners.
  • Pursuing this degree offers both pros and cons, including flexibility, affordability, and potential for career advancement.
  • The admission process, financial aid options, and program completion timeline are crucial considerations.
  • Graduates can explore various career paths, including entry-level roles in adult education, graduate school preparation, and more.
  • The average annual salary and job outlook for adult education professionals highlight the value of this degree.

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What is an Associate Degree in Adult Education?

An associate degree in Adult Education is a two-year postsecondary program that focuses on the unique needs and learning styles of adult learners. This degree equips students with the knowledge and skills to design, implement, and evaluate educational programs and curricula for adult populations. The curriculum typically covers topics such as adult learning theory, instructional methods, program development, and educational technology.

Pros and Cons of Pursuing an Associate Degree in Adult Education


  • Flexible and Accessible: Many associate degree programs in Adult Education are offered in a hybrid or online format, making them more convenient for working adults.
  • Affordable: Associate degrees are generally more cost-effective than four-year bachelor's programs, making them a more accessible option for many students.
  • Career Advancement Opportunities: An associate degree in Adult Education can lead to entry-level roles in the field and pave the way for further education, such as a bachelor's or master's degree.


  • Limited Job Opportunities: While the field of adult education is growing, the job market may be more competitive for those with only an associate degree.
  • Potential for Limited Earning Potential: Compared to those with a bachelor's or master's degree, individuals with an associate degree in Adult Education may have a lower earning potential.
  • Potential for Limited Career Advancement: Without a higher-level degree, career advancement opportunities may be more limited in the field of adult education.

How to Get an Associate Degree in Adult Education

1. Meet the Admission Requirements: To enroll in an associate degree program in Adult Education, you'll typically need to meet the following admission requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED)
  • Minimum GPA (often 2.0 or higher)
  • Completed application form
  • Official high school or GED transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) may be required
  • Proof of English proficiency (for non-native English speakers)

2. Apply to the Adult Education Program: Once you've gathered the necessary documents, you can begin the application process. This typically involves submitting your completed application form, transcripts, and any other required materials to the college or university of your choice.

3. Explore Financial Aid Options: Financing your education is an important consideration. Fortunately, there are several financial aid options available for students pursuing an associate degree in Adult Education:

  • Federal student aid (grants, loans, and work-study programs)
  • Institutional scholarships and grants
  • Private scholarships
  • Employer tuition reimbursement programs

To apply for financial aid, you'll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will determine your eligibility for various types of financial assistance.

4. Enroll and Complete the Program: After being accepted and securing financial aid, you can enroll in your chosen associate degree program in Adult Education. The program typically takes two years to complete, with a curriculum that covers topics such as:

  • Principles of adult learning
  • Instructional design and delivery
  • Curriculum development
  • Educational technology
  • Classroom management
  • Program evaluation

Throughout the program, you'll gain practical experience through internships, field placements, or capstone projects, allowing you to apply your knowledge in real-world settings.

List of Online Associate Degree in Adult Education

If you're considering an online associate degree in Adult Education, there are several options available. One website to consider is Dreambound, which offers a flexible and affordable Adult Education degree program.

Dreambound is an online education platform that partners with accredited universities to provide high-quality, affordable degree programs. Their online associate degree in Adult Education is designed to be accessible and convenient for students who need a flexible learning option.

Some of the schools and programs offered through Dreambound include:

Liberty University Online


  • AA Education Non-Licensure

Cost Range: $9,000 to $21,000

Western Governors University


  • AA with a specialization in Adult Education

Cost Range: $6,930 to $21,000

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How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate Degree in Adult Education?

An associate degree in Adult Education typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, the exact duration may vary depending on factors such as:

  • Whether you attend school full-time or part-time
  • The number of credits required by the program
  • Your ability to transfer in credits from previous coursework or life experiences

Some programs may offer accelerated or evening/weekend options, which can shorten the overall completion time.

What to Expect from an Associate Degree in Adult Education

An associate degree in Adult Education provides a comprehensive education in the principles and practices of teaching and learning for adult learners. You can expect to develop a strong foundation in areas such as:

  • Adult learning theory and andragogy
  • Instructional design and delivery methods
  • Curriculum development and evaluation
  • Educational technology and its application
  • Classroom management and facilitation
  • Program planning and administration

Through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on learning, and practical experiences, you'll gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively design, implement, and evaluate educational programs for adult populations.

What Can You Do with an Adult Education Associate Degree?

Graduate School Preparation

An associate degree in Adult Education can serve as a stepping stone towards a bachelor's or master's degree in Adult Education, Adult Learning, or a related field. With this foundation, you can continue your education and pursue advanced degrees, which can open up more career opportunities and higher earning potential.

Entry-Level Adult Education Roles

With an associate degree in Adult Education, you may be qualified for various entry-level positions, such as:

  • Adult education instructor
  • Literacy or basic skills instructor
  • Community education coordinator
  • Corporate training assistant
  • Adult education program assistant

These roles typically involve teaching, facilitating, or supporting educational programs and initiatives for adult learners.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with an associate degree in Adult Education can explore a range of career opportunities, including:

  • Adult education instructor
  • Vocational or technical instructor
  • Workplace training specialist
  • Community education coordinator
  • Adult literacy program coordinator
  • Corporate trainer or instructional designer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for adult education teachers is $60,560, with a projected job outlook that is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Final Thoughts

An Associate Degree in Adult Education provides a solid foundation for individuals interested in the field of adult education. This program offers flexibility, affordability, and the potential for career advancement, making it an attractive option for those seeking to make a difference in the lives of adult learners. Whether your goal is to pursue further education or secure an entry-level position in the industry, an Associate Degree in Adult Education can be a valuable investment in your future.

Should this guide miss the mark, sift through the other guides below to pinpoint one that aligns better with your needs:

Keziah Lim
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Keziah Lim
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