Adult, Community, and Higher Education

Adult, Community, and Higher Education

Adult, Community, and Higher Education is a program option within the Master of Education (MEd), Specialist route. Visit the Master of Education, Specialist Route page for complete MEd details including fees

This cohort-based Master of Education - Specialist degree in Adult, Community, and Higher Education is geared to adult educators, practitioners, individuals involved in profit/non-profit community-based organizations and initiatives, and higher education leaders. This specialized degree provides graduate students with an opportunity for advanced professional education and learning to increase both knowledge and competence in creating and supporting the development of educated and sustainable adult learning communities that thrive in a variety of settings.

This Master of Education degree attracts people from a variety of adult education/learning settings. These include post-secondary/vocational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, corporations, government offices, and independent contractors/consultants. Within these settings, students might focus on community health/development, international development, adult basic education/literacy, environmental education, program development/design, and other areas that engage them in formal/informal teaching, learning, and leadership of and with adults. Courses in this stream emphasize a core of disciplinary knowledge that will ground learning about adult development, lifelong learning, organizations, community development and engagement, and significant international/global issues and trends. Students also complete research-related courses to gain knowledge of research methodologies and concepts, and have an opportunity to apply them in a preliminary way.

Participation in the program involves successful completion of 12 courses, the majority of which are completed online over a two-year period that goes year-round. Courses in the summer term are completed in a compressed term, which includes a two-week on-campus session.

Program Goals:

  • Explore concepts, models, theories, research, and scholars considered core in the field of adult education and learning
  • Articulate the breadth of adult education and learning contexts, applications and research pursuits, consistent with the premise and intended student base for this MEd stream
  • Engage with people who are active – whether as employees, volunteers or activists – in a broad range of adult education and learning settings and contexts
  • Study various research methodologies and methods used across educational studies, and how they might inform scholarship and practice
  • Employ critical reflection, reading, writing and thinking in generating and responding to readings, in-class discussions, and other course activities
  • Practice a range of learning task formats and structures, including individual and group, written and facilitation, and reflective and analytical assignments
  • Draw on scholarly readings, discussions and assignments to inform adult education and learning practice, and use examples from practice to interpret scholarly material

Summer Residency 2024

Summer classes run from June 24 - August 6, 2024.

Students are expected to be available for this period of time and able to complete online course work before and after the summer residency period. Further details will be available in the course outline.

On-campus summer residency dates are July 8 -  July 19, 2024.

Year 1

EDER 631.01 L02 (Summer 2024 - 50027) Adults as Learners
EDER 631.12 L03 (Summer 2024 - 50037) Perspectives on Community  


EDER 659.15 L01 (Fall 2024 - 71052) History and Philosophy of Adult Education 


EDER 600 L01 (Winter 2025 - 12234) Research Methodology in Education
EDER 631.17 L01 (Winter 2025 - 11298) Lifelong Learning 


EDER 619.08  L01 Teaching & Learning in Higher Education


Year 2

EDER 631.05 L04 Workplace Learning & Society
EDER 631.19 L01 Global Issues & Development


EDER 602 L01 Program & Practice Evaluation 


EDER 604 L07 Collaboratory of Practice
EDER 631.22 L01 Policy & Adult Learning


EDER 606 L06 Writing Educational Research 


Program Information & Course Descriptions

Course outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L.

Blended Delivery

In the Summer term students participate in blended course(s). Fall, Winter and Spring courses are offered fully online. For additional information regarding online delivery, please refer to the eLearn website.

3 units per course

EDER 631.01 Adults as Learners

This course serves as a wonderful and challenging introduction to the world of adult learning by exploring the learning-teaching transaction both from the learners’ and the facilitator/instructor’s point of view. It adopts the fundamental and respectful adult education principle of starting with the experience of each participant, as adult learners and as facilitators of adult learning.

EDER 600 Research Methodology in Education

This first course in educational research methodologies provides the background necessary to make cogent decisions around the types of research questions that might be asked and the kinds of insights and answers particular methods can provide.

This introductory course is intended for graduate students in the first year of their cohort-based Master’s of Education programs. The course focuses on some of the issues and dilemmas that frame the context for contemporary research, and guides participants in a preliminary consideration of research strategies, questions and methods, for further study and application in the subsequent course EDER 692 Collaboratory of Practice. In relation to EDER 692 Collaboratory of Practice, this first course includes a discussion of action research in education as a pragmatic way to integrate various methods in one school based research project. Participants will also be encouraged to approach research articles and reports with a critical perspective and develop some skills and techniques for this kind of close reading.

EDER 631.19 Global Issues & Development

This course aims to explore the role of adult, community, and higher education in responding to the challenges of globalization. It will focus on issues in developing countries and cover a variety of topics, including poverty, literacy, human rights, HIV/AIDS, health, environment, and development. It will provide learners with an opportunity to analyze concepts and prevailing discussions that may be necessary for a critical understanding of globalization, adult education, and social development.

EDER 606 Writing Educational Research

This course will focus on examining and developing the skills associated with crafting an academic paper. Topics will also include genres and purposes of academic writing, and venues for presentation and publication.

EDER 619.02 Leading in Adult & Higher Education

In this course and through assigned readings, you will begin with a brief review of some pertinent research on organizational leadership, before turning attention to unique features of adult and higher education contexts. In the latter part of the course, particular attention is paid to ‘leadership in the middle’ and the challenges faced by leaders of both academic and non-academic units in colleges and universities, and in other adult education settings. This course will be of interest to individuals in formal and informal leadership capacities.

EDER 631.22 Policy & Adult Learning

This course will offer a critical introductory framework to explore contemporary adult education policy issues in Canadian and international education contexts. By drawing from the history, sociology, and philosophy of adult education, students will be able to understand and critically assess adult education policy and practice.

EDER 659.15 History and Philosophy of Adult Education

The purpose of this course is to explore and assess a variety of historical and philosophical trends that have shaped adult and higher education over the years. Through exploring the past, you will be better able to develop, define and articulate your own philosophical approach to the current practice of adult education and higher education, as it relates to your specific context and culture.

EDER 631.17 Lifelong Learning

This course aims to explore the current theories, policies, and practices of lifelong learning within the context of knowledge-based economy. In particular, we will critically analyze key debates about the relationship between lifelong learning, democracy, and equality within post-industrial societies. Graduate students will be challenged to explore their professional development practices and to expand their understanding and appreciation as to how ‘lifelong learning’ extends beyond the learning that occurs within formal and traditional education and professional contexts. 

EDER 631.05 Workplace Learning & Society

This course provides a macro-level examination of the place of individual, group and organizational learning in the community and contemporary society; perspectives on societal change, work and learning; philosophical and ideological perspectives.

EDER 602 Program & Practice Evaluation

Students in this course will have an opportunity to discover how to creatively establish, plan, and evaluate adult education programs that will positively affect their organization or community.

EDER 619.08 Teaching & Learning in Higher Education

This course has been designed to increase both your awareness and your understanding of the learners involved in higher education today, as well as what is considered to be teaching and learning for these learners. It will give you the opportunity to link the theory and practice of teaching and learning through focusing on the achievement of specific learning outcomes. Finally, it will give you the opportunity to look at the implications of the theories and research about learners and learning for you, as educators, leaders and administrators.

EDER 604 Collaboratory of Practice

Collaboratories of Practice represent a fusion of two important developments in contemporary research: communities of practice and collaboratories. A collaboratory is a new networked organizational form involving structured experiences of authentic, real-world practice which serve as sources of active inquiry and professional learning. This course provides opportunities for individuals or groups to investigate real world problems and to devise or recommend pragmatic solutions suitable to their contexts.

Contact Us


Graduate Program Administrator

Lisa Dale


Academic Program Coordinators

Dr. Patricia Danyluk

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