Help students reach their full potential by advancing your knowledge and skills with our master’s in higher education program.
In the Adult Learning specialization, you will explore emerging theories, research, and best practices that can be applied to create effective education experiences for this unique population of learners. You will analyze instructional strategies and management principles that will help you address today’s most pressing issues facing higher education institutions. As a result, you can improve both organizational and student success. The curriculum also examines the globalization of higher education, a transformative trend that transcends geographic boundaries and enables the sharing of knowledge on a global scale.
This specialization empowers you to increase your impact as an educator as you discover practical learning solutions that integrate the latest technologies across diverse learning environments, including higher education, corporate, nonprofit, government, healthcare, and military settings.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence:
|Course Code||EDUC 6155||Course||Understanding Higher Education||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6156||Course||Understanding Students: Learning, Development, and Diversity||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6271||Course||Theories and Frameworks for Adult Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6157||Course||Understanding Institutions: Organizational Behavior and Culture||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6274||Course||Developing a Repertoire of Effective Practices||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6225||Course||Foundations of Research||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6761||Course||Globalization in Higher Education||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6275||Course||Planning, Assessing, and Improving Learning Experiences||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6276||Course||Facilitating, Collaboration & Group Process||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6277||Course||Using Technology to Enhance Adult Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6960||Course||Capstone: Master's Project||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
Historical perspectives on the development of higher education are useful in understanding the characteristics of our current system and future trends. The social, political, and economic context in which 4-year colleges, community colleges, and universities operate is introduced in this course. Education professionals explore how institutions of higher education apply business principles to renew their commitment to student learning and achieve their mission and goals effectively. They also become familiar with the philosophy, requirements, and community of Walden University, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, and the M.S. in Higher Education program.
The success of any business is tied directly to its ability to serve its customers effectively. In higher education, those customers are students. In this course, education professionals examine fundamental principles of student learning and development as well as the implications of these principles for adult learners from a variety of backgrounds who have diverse needs and are in different stages of the educational process. They investigate and discuss factors affecting students’ educational goals and aspirations, their ability to stay in college, and the impact of their educational experiences on their learning and development; through this exploration and discussion, education professionals gain a better understanding of the ways leaders can improve these outcomes.
To understand adult learning, one must ask and answer complex questions: Who is the adult learner? What is the social context of learning? What motivates adult learners? In this course, education professionals explore the theories and frameworks that inform the field of adult learning today. They identify, compare, and contrast foundational and emerging perspectives on adult learning with the aim of transforming theory into practice. They engage in an integrative course project through which they synthesize and apply various theories to real-world situations, including their own development; summarize how the idea of wisdom impacts their experiences as adult learners; interview an adult learner; and assess various perspectives in regard to educating diverse learners.
Effective leadership within colleges and universities depends on the ability to identify important aspects of an organization’s structure and culture as well as to adapt one’s behavior to that culture. In this course, education professionals examine patterns of organization, governance, and culture in higher education, and they assess strategies for working effectively within governance structures and organizational cultures to achieve desired goals. They engage in readings and assignments that emphasize the organization’s ability to learn and change in response to internal and external factors, including the ever-changing use of technology in academic programs and services.
A number of best practices in adult teaching and learning have been identified based on decades of research and experience. Education professionals in this course examine these evidence-based practices to build their skills and gain strategies to facilitate learning in a variety of settings. They also explore promising new ideas and emerging trends in the field of adult learning.
An introduction to the principles and processes of research is provided in this course. Education professionals explore the various steps and considerations of the research process. They develop an understanding of basic research methodologies and statistical analyses, learn how to formulate research problems and questions, conduct a literature review, and critique and evaluate research. Additionally, they consider the ethical responsibilities of the researcher.
Globalization is a phenomenon affecting almost every aspect of society, from politics to commerce to entertainment. Higher education is no exception; technology and social mobility increasingly lead to opportunities for collaboration and competition among institutions globally. In this course, education professionals investigate trends and issues in higher education worldwide, including ways in which institutions serve the needs of an increasingly mobile student population. Through assignments designed to provide practical application of course content, education professionals consider globalization through a variety of contexts, such as in their personal and professional lives, student experiences, and challenges and opportunities. They also explore international differences in institutional organization and governance, operations and services, accountability, and articulation; they use this knowledge to inform later study of program development and administration.
Given the wide variety of settings in which adult learning takes place, it is no small challenge to plan and implement robust learning experiences that can be effectively evaluated. In this course, education professionals examine the ingredients essential to successfully promote learning, including multiple needs assessment models, approaches to program design, implementation strategies, and models of evaluation and assessment.
According to research, adults learn best in a social environment. Through collaboration and idea exchange, a supportive "community of practice" is generated where learners co-create their experience in socially meaningful ways. This may take the form of discussions, peer-to-peer activities, small-group work, and student-centered assignments, among other approaches. In this course, education professionals examine the mechanics of collaboration and identify facilitation practices that lead to student success. Also addressed are issues of consensus and decision making, trust-building, collaborative teaching, and group process online.
Emerging technologies are rapidly altering the field of adult education today. Innovative technologies are removing traditional boundaries to learning and encouraging a global perspective on school, work, and communications. New developments in software, multimedia applications, Internet technologies, and mobile computing are transforming the educational landscape and empowering learners around the world. In this course, educators and students explore how to leverage these advances to enhance the learning process and improve outcomes in today's digital information society.
Through the master's capstone experience, education professionals have the opportunity to integrate and apply their learning to real-world issues or problems. Education professionals research and create a product that addresses a critical issue in a particular institution or area of higher education. Examples of such products include a design for a program or service that could be implemented at a particular institution, a professional development program or resource, or a position paper that addresses a particular issue in depth. Education professionals choose an issue or problem that is of sufficient scope to enable them to apply theories, concepts, and practices gained from multiple areas of prior coursework. All other courses.)