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Adult and Continuing Education Teaching


Adult and continuing education teaching programs prepare people to teach adults who want to develop or upgrade their skills and education.

In adult and continuing education teaching programs students learn to teach in classrooms, on computers, and in industry settings. They also learn to plan lessons and work experiences to assist adult learners.

Adult and continuing education programs include topics such as:


Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in adult and continuing education teaching. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Some universities offer graduate degrees in adult and continuing education teaching. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

Post-bachelor’s certificates are also available in this program, which typically takes one to two years of full-time study after earning a bachelor's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Some programs require you to complete an admissions process separate from their general undergraduate admissions process. In such a case, you typically apply to the program after your freshman or sophomore year.

Program admissions vary. However, for all programs, you need good grades. You also usually need to complete some combination of the following requirements:

You may also need to complete the following core courses to qualify for the program:

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit a personal statement and letters of recommendation.

Your bachelor's degree does not have to be in any particular major for admission. However, if there's a subject that you know you want to teach in adult and continuing education programs, it may be helpful to major in that subject. Also, if possible, you should take several courses in education.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you may take some of the following courses:

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs varies. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum usually looks like the following:

Many programs require you to complete a student teaching practicum, which is a hands-on opportunity to apply your knowledge while working directly with students in a variety of adult and continuing education settings.

You could help teach a course in a community college, a technical school, or even a community center. Whatever the setting, you benefit from the direct supervision and guidance of an experienced adult and continuing education teacher.

You typically begin a practicum by leading some of the classroom activities or teaching part of the lesson. For the rest of the class time, you would observe or assist. Eventually, however, you are given much more responsibility. This might include planning lessons, holding one-on-one student conferences, and grading assignments.

Things to Know

State requirements for adult and continuing education teachers vary. Some states require you to pass a certification process. All states require you to have at least a bachelor's degree.

Because some states don't have official certification processes, you need to develop a teaching portfolio. This showcases your teaching vision, achievements, and competency to potential employers. As a student, you can start compiling samples of syllabi and student work that you've graded, as well as other materials that reflect your growth and development as a teacher. You should also include a statement of your teaching philosophy and career objectives.

If you plan on teaching courses that a student could eventually apply to a four-year degree program, you usually need to have at least a master's degree in that field as well.

You can take continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on your teaching content and materials.


King-Snohomish Area

City University of Seattle

Northeastern University - Seattle

Seattle University

South Seattle College

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Southern Illinois University - Bangor

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Statewide and Distance Learning

WGU Washington

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Washington - Tacoma

West Side Area

Bellingham Technical College

Western Washington University