Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: May 30, 2024

Adult Continuing Education is an important, though less discussed, area of education. Adults earn degrees, learn professional skills, and take so-called "leisure courses." This sometimes needs a special approach to education as it involves adults and their unique needs.

An online Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate is the ideal qualification for teachers and education professionals considering teaching formal educational night classes, business training, and leisure courses to older adults.

What Are the Online Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate Requirements?

Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificates require applicants to fulfill the following list and send supporting evidence:

  • Both a bachelor's and master's degree in education subjects
  • Some school admission requirements may include a teaching license
  • You may also be expected to provide evidence of a minimum 2 years' teaching experience
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Official transcripts
  • If English is not your first language, you will need to have passed a relevant English language certification. TOEFL, PTEA and IELTS are the most common. Alternatives include ELS112 and DuoLingo
  • Recommendation letters of from either academic sources or employers
  • A non-refundable application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Some programs will ask an industry- related question for which you must write an essay with a defined word limit

What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Your Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate will be comprised of both mandatory and optional courses, including classes such as:

  • Introduction to Adult and Community Education
  • Continuing Education for Professional Learners
  • Learning and Teaching for Adults in Global Contexts
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Designing Training Programs for Adults
  • Teaching with Digital Tools
  • Effective Reading and Writing Instruction
  • Assessment and Feedback for Adult Learners
  • Perspectives on Adult Learning
  • Strategies for Teaching Adults
  • Psychology of Adult Adjustment
  • Collaborative Learning
  • The Community Educator
  • Managing Community Education
  • Comparative Education
  • Multichannel Learning
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Visual and Digital Literacies
  • Distance Education and Distributed Learning

What Type of Careers Can I Pursue with an Online Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate?

A Graduate Certificate in Adult Continuing Education opens many career doors in education, including:

  • Adult Teacher: Adults go to college and night classes for many reasons, including leisure (creative writing, photography) as well as for academic reasons such as career change. Adults have different needs and responsibilities than typical college-aged students.
  • GED Instructor: The General Education Diploma is the equivalent of a high school diploma for adult learners. These instructors can find work in community colleges preparing adult learners for this entry-level qualification.
  • Private Tutor: Teach adults on a one-to-one basis in anything from learning a musical instrument to brushing up on language or technical skills.
  • Business Training Associate: You will work as an independent provider or for a business providing training for corporate entities – everything from basic MS Office to advanced technical programs such as video or photo editing.
  • Corporate Trainer: Be responsible for in-house training and employee development for a business. You will oversee training of all company packages and general education.
  • Training Executive: A C-level role, you will not necessarily deliver training personally, but you will be responsible for training and learning strategies within a business, buying equipment, and investing in training tools.
  • Continuing Education Professor: Outside of education and training, here you will help adult learners understand their educational options. You will either develop assessments or oversee tests to determine their strengths and possible academic paths.

Adult Continuing Education Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in an adult continuing education graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


University of ConnecticutStorrs, CTHybrid - Adult Continuing Education


University of IdahoMoscow, IDHybrid - Adult Continuing Education


Ball State UniversityMuncie, INOnline - Adult and Community Education


Kansas State UniversityManhattan, KSOnline - Adult Learning and Leadership


Morehead State UniversityMorehead, KYHybrid - Adult Continuing Education
Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green, KYOnline - Adult Education


Louisiana Tech UniversityRuston, LAHybrid - Adult Continuing Education


University of Southern MainePortland, MEHybrid - Adult Continuing Education


Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MNHybrid - Adult Continuing Education
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint Paul, MNOnline - Adult Basic Education
University of MinnesotaMinneapolis, MNAdult Education
Walden UniversityMinneapolis, MNOnline - Adult Learning

North Carolina

North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NCOnline - Adult, Workforce, and Continuing Professional Education

New York

Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, NYHybrid - Adult Continuing Education
SUNY Buffalo StateBuffalo, NYHybrid - Adult Continuing Education


Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville, TXOnline - Adult Education
Texas State UniversitySan Marcos, TXAdult English as a Second/Foreign Language


Regent UniversityVirginia Beach, VAHybrid - Adult Continuing Education


Antioch UniversitySeattle, WAAdult Education
Seattle UniversitySeattle, WAHybrid - Adult Continuing Education

Do we need to add to or update any of the information listed? Please contact us so we can keep our site updated.

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