Doctorate in Adult Education
What is an Adult Education Degree?
The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning degree is designed for those who wish to not only teach, but to lead collegiate and adult learners. This doctorate in adult education program helps graduates prepare for and practice the research-based strategies that improve adult learning.
Adult education degree holders from GCU become leaders at the college and university-level, striving to bring positive experiences to post-secondary and adult learners. Not only will adult education degree learners study industry trends, they will also implement new strategies based on research they’ve personally conducted.
The College of Doctoral Studies at GCU has identified goals within adult learning that graduates must meet:
- Evaluating adult learning theories
- Synthesizing adult learning theory with worldview
- Analyzing the nature of cognitive coaching
- Supporting the necessity of transformative learning
- Proposing applications of adult learning strategies
Gain the Skills to Conduct and Apply Educational Research
Leadership and research in adult education are the main focus of this EdD in Adult Education. Graduates will complete original research projects with a focus on adult students. This research is conducted with the purpose of uncovering new knowledge and theories about adult learning. Graduates then apply these new ideas with adult learners in order to create positive educational outcomes, such as mentorship, coaching and collaboration.
Research topics can come from anywhere in the doctorate of adult learning degree program coursework. Graduates might be inspired to learn more as they:
- Explore practical foundations of education
- Examine current educational practices
- Reflect on child and adult teaching and learning theories
- Conceptualize educational philosophy
- Dive into existing academic research to study methodology
Adult Education Degree Careers
Graduates of the EdD in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning degree are ready to be educators who impact adult lives. They may find work at:
- Junior colleges
- Two or four-year colleges
- Professional schools
- Technical programs
- Trade schools
Those who have backgrounds in certain fields may also find work at business schools or in computer and management training.
If you desire to make a significant impact in education by teaching and coaching other adults, a degree in adult learning may be the right path for you. Find out by learning more about the Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning degree program at GCU.
Program Core Courses
This course introduces students to the principal elements of research and scholarly writing. Learners explore approaches to synthesizing literature and the application of the major components of APA form and style, and learn to coordinate literature searches. Furthermore, they learn how to discern principal arguments, analyze research questions, and clearly identify the key scholarly attributes to journal articles and other sources of scholarly data. This course also introduces learners to the University’s overarching values and beliefs regarding research and the responsibility scholars have in continuing a tradition of contributing to an ever-growing body of knowledge.
The course presents a foundation of historic and philosophic ideas in teaching and learning. Learners are encouraged to consider the connections between history, philosophy, teaching, and learning as well as the influence of these concepts on the development of a personal philosophy of teaching and learning.
The course provides a chronological overview of learning theories and their common applications. Connections between theory and philosophy of teaching and learning are explored.
This course provides a broad overview of foundational elements for conducting independent, original research. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods are introduced and applied. The template for developing a research prospectus is also introduced, with emphasis on identifying a researchable topic related to the learners’ degree specialization. Prerequisite: RES-811.
The course presents theories and models of adult learning for consideration. Potential applications of the theories and models are discussed as are current trends in adult learning.
This course connects key concepts in worldview to adult learning. Learners are encouraged to synthesize worldview and adult learning concepts as they move toward the development or refinement of a personal worldview.
This residency allows students to begin developing their skills as academic researchers. Residency sessions address topics such as research question development, design, item generation, subscale development and analysis, and basic hypothesis testing. Students have hands-on experience with quantitative and qualitative analysis software.
This course is designed to train learners in the conduct of a systematic literature review related to their research topic. Emphasis is placed on creating structure for reading, analyzing, synthesizing, and organizing prior research necessary for drafting the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 2 of the dissertation. Learners use the research prospectus template to guide the development of their Chapter 2. Prerequisite: RES-850 or MGT-810 or RES-825.
The course explores the connections between cognitive coaching, critical inquiry, and reflective practice. Tools for cognitive coaching and their applications are also discussed.
The course outlines the process of transformational learning and discusses its application to adult learning. The notions of practitioners as transformational catalysts and the influence of transformation learning on adult learning design are also addressed.
This course provides learners with an overview of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches with emphasis on conceptual and practical aspects of data collection, management, and analysis. Learners use their research prospectus to align the research question(s) and variables of interest with the appropriate data collection and analytical techniques. Prerequisite: RES-861.
This course addresses the current mindset surrounding the notion of collaboration and proposes a paradigm shift to a mindset that redefines collaboration and integrates it with coaching and mentoring. The course includes a discussion of strategies employed by coaches/mentors to support leadership and ensure a positive organizational culture.
The course addresses the challenges to teaching and learning inherent in a global environment of perpetual change and frequent innovation. Connections to philosophy of teaching and learning are explored.
This residency prepares students to present their scholarly work and to thoughtfully critique the work of others. Students orally present papers developed in their own classes and respond to questions from colleagues. Students are further prepared to become active members in academic communities by learning how to review papers and provide comments.
Learners complete a cogent research prospectus as the foundation for their dissertation research proposal. Emphasis is placed on fully articulating a study design and methodology that is aligned with the research questions and developing the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 3 of the dissertation. Prerequisite: RES-855 or RES-866.
The course considers the application of adult learning theory and philosophy of adult learning as they lead to solutions for enhanced teaching and learning. Connections between theory and practice are highlighted.
In this course, learners formalize their research proposal specific to their topic. Emphasis is placed on fully developing Chapter 1 and incorporating Chapters 2 and 3 (drafts) from previous research courses. This proposal becomes the first three chapters of the dissertation upon approval of the final draft by the College of Doctoral Studies. Prerequisite: RES-880.
This course provides learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: TLC-885.
This course continues to provide learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: TLC-955.
This course continues to provide learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: TLC-960.