Program Overview

The M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education program is designed for those who desire to teach, consult, or administer education programs, materials and policies targeted to diverse adult populations. The program prepares both entry-level and advanced practitioners as trainers, educators, policy-makers, consultants, administrators in diverse educational, business, and healthcare settings for adults. The approach emphasizes a social justice and a progressive approach to the adult and higher education field; academic, critical, and digital literacies; inquiry-based learning with action research; and issues of identity, reflection, and diversity.  The Adult and Higher Education curriculum links theories to practice, policies, research and evaluation. It prepares students for competency and knowledge in the areas of: 

  • Leadership and management skills to administer adult education programs

  • Current research on how adults learn, diversity and implications for teaching 

  • Theories and strategies to design curriculum

  • Techniques for teaching methodologies

  • Program development skills

  • Instructional technology and e-learning skills to become competitive in a rapidly growing field of distance education

  • An understanding of the higher education arena and policy issues

  • Research skills to prepare proposals for collecting data, conducting needs assessments and evaluating programs 

Graduates will work in settings such as professional staff at a community/technical college or university, at government agencies, non-profit organizations and business and industry.


It is the mission of the Adult and Higher Education (AHE) program to foster critically reflective, scholarly practitioners in the field of adult and higher education and to socialize leaders to the discipline of adult and higher education as well as to apply principles of adult learning across diverse professional settings. More specifically this mission also:

  • Promotes self-directed, autonomous active learning among adults

  • Makes education relevant to current trends

  • Honors individual and cultural differences and facilitates access for all learners

  • Models best practices in teaching and training adult learners

  • Integrates research, theory, and personal knowledge in guiding the practice of educating adults

  • Links evaluation with program goals and objectives to assure continual program improvement

  • Involves diverse organizations in action learning and action research that benefits the community by increasing its capacity and the quality of learning among students 

Course Delivery

Students are able to continue working while advancing their education by taking our courses conveniently offered in a blended learning format using a combination of online sessions and two mandatory face-to-face sessions each quarter.  The face-to-face sessions are held on two Saturday afternoons on the Bellingham, WA campus with the remainder of the course sessions taught online.  These days and times give students the flexibility to balance their studies with work and family. 

Get More Information 

Contact us for more information about the AHE program or to receive the link to join our next online advising session!

Bellingham Campus Address