Bachelor of Adult Education

Earn your Bachelor's Degree in Adult Education

A bachelor's degree in adult education can help prepare you to teach adults looking to advance their academic knowledge and usually requires four years of study. Teaching adults requires a different skill-set than teaching children, and your degree program should be designed with this in mind.

As an adult educator, your job will be to teach in an engaging and effective manner. Your bachelor's in adult education program should reflect this commitment by offering courses in topics like learning and development, critical thinking and evaluation, learning assessment, learning style fundamentals and instructional design. Because online education is becoming increasingly prevalent, including in adult education systems, some adult education programs may include instruction in online teaching.

Career Paths :

Adult literacy teacher and GED teacher are two potential occupations for those with a bachelor's degree in adult education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh, 2012) projects a 15 percent national increase (close to the average occupational growth rate) in these jobs between 2010 and 2020 and reports that approximately 66,000 of these adult educators worked in the U.S. in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

Adult students usually have specific goals when they return to school, such as earning a GED or learning the English language. Students who had dropped out of school at a young age may also be looking to master basic education skills in reading, writing and math. Jobs in adult literacy or GED teaching may be found through public school systems, junior colleges, state and local governments, online institutions and other education providers. It's important to note that it may be necessary to obtain a teaching certificate/license depending on the state and teaching environment you wish to work in. Details on state-specific requirements can be found through teach.org.

Career Earnings :

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in May 2012, adult education and literacy teachers earned a median national annual wage of $48,590, with the lowest 10 percent earning up to $27,460 and the top 10 percent earning up to $82,490 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Educators of adults may enjoy the satisfaction of teaching without the disciplinary issues often associated with teaching younger people. Additionally, adult education centers may follow the academic calendar, potentially granting adult educators ample vacation time. Online teaching opportunities can also create additional work flexibility.


"Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes253011.htm

Adult Literacy and GED Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 11, 2012 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm

"Work-based Education," Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, December 12, 2008, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/workplace.html

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B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
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  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
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  • Accredited
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AS Teaching
South College , Knoxville
Good for Working Adults

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

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Undergraduate in Early Childhood
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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  • Online Courses
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Early Childhood Education (B.S.)
Brenau University , Gainesville
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Challenging students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment since 1878.
  • Offers programs in business, communication, education, humanities, fine arts, health sciences, and graduate studies.
  • Provides on-campus housing options and study abroad programs for students.
  • Campus features several academic centers for students, including The Writing Center and the Study Place for Achievement (SPA).
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits