Adult education teachers, who work in adult education enrichment programs, community colleges, and night schools, have obtained the appropriate degree needed to teach adult education classes. Adult education instructors teach basic literacy skills in reading, math, and writing, which are the subjects adult learners must improve upon in order to pass the entry exams for community and technical college programs. Adult education students are non-traditional learners who have ‘real life’ responsibilities, so adult literacy programs expect their instructors to be compassionate, competent and adaptable toward different learning styles. Combining real world experience with a degree from an accredited college is often an advantage for individuals applying to adult literacy teaching positions.
Adult Education Teacher Standards
Education and teacher training requirements for adult education teachers differ across the country. Many adult literacy instructors may hold a certificate in their particular profession, while others have received higher education degrees in specialized fields. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in a specific field or in education will prepare an individual to teach adult education classes. In the past, training and instruction on how to teach adult education classes were only offered to educators seeking specialist master’s degrees in education. However, the need for adult education instructors has risen steadily in the past decade, prompting many colleges to offer a certificate or bachelor’s degree in adult education.
Adult Education Degrees and Courses
Adult education courses prepare future adult literacy teachers to instruct students, as well as suggest the best ways for adult education instructors to integrate lectures and educational technology into their lesson plans. Adult education courses may include classes in adult psychology, classroom planning and development, and teaching GED or ESL.
Associate degrees in adult education concentrate on preparing adult literacy educators to teach in the vocational education industry. The majority of these instructors have extensive experience in their field and desire to augment their experience with a degree that will enable them to teach part-time. An associate degree in adult education includes courses in the core subject areas and adult psychology.
A bachelor’s degree in adult education prepares adult educators to teach adults in a high school, vocational or technical school setting. Courses may include curriculum development and adult education theory. A Bachelor’s in Adult Education is not a teacher certification degree program; therefore, prospective adult educators who want to teach K-12 should enroll in a teacher education program.
Benefits of Teaching Adult Students
Adult educators encourage and enable adults to further their education. Whether it is helping a student receive a GED, pass an ESL exam, or study for a college entry exam helping adults better themselves is as rewarding as it is challenging. Adult literacy educators should have strong communication skills and be able to work with diverse people. Also, when choosing a career, job security should be taken into account as it is an essential factor in an individual’s personal and financial success. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to view projections about job growth in the adult education teaching field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’s website lists salary expectations and general educational requirements for adult education teachers.
Related Resource: Specialize an Education Degree
To inquire about the appropriate degree needed to teach adult education classes in your state, contact your local board of education. While no universal adult education license has been established by state and federal education boards, your county or state may require a certificate or a license in your specialty in order to obtain an adult education teaching position.