Employers are spending more than $164.2 billion on professional development for their employees, according to the Association in Talent Development (ATD). In many cases, it’s the employees themselves that are looking to advance their skills, earn a promotion, or change career paths. Meanwhile, workers transitioning from an industrial economy into a knowledge-based economy need relevant skills to succeed in today’s occupational marketplace.

Whether your interest is facilitating professional and continuing education, human resource development, workplace learning, distance education, adult and family literacy, or other areas of specialized practice, businesses always need education programs delivered to their work force.

Targeted to non-traditional students, typically 25 or older, Ball State’s graduate certificate in adult education is ideal for professionals who want skills for designing, implementing, and evaluating adult education programs in business, healthcare, government, nonprofit, for profit, academic, faith-based, and community settings.

You can pursue the program on campus, off campus at Ball State locations in Indianapolis or Fishers, Indiana, or a blend of on-campus and online courses. By taking the right courses, you can complete the program fully online.

What It’s Like to Pursue a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education

  • You have the opportunity to participate in research studies, present at conferences, and submit journal articles.
  • An academic advisor is available to meet face to face, or via telephone, video conferencing, and email.
  • Project-based learning gives you the opportunity to connect theories and methodologies with real-world experiences.
  • You can transfer your certificate credits into Ball State’s M.A. degree in Adult and Community Education or the Ed.D. in Adult and Community Education
  • You’ll have access to textbook authors and internationally known leaders in the field via adult, continuing, and community education conferences as well as video conferences.
  • You will develop your individual philosophy of adult education and philosophy of teaching and develop skills to use that knowledge in effectively delivering community education programs.
  • Your professors are active members of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education of the American Association of Adult and Community Education.

Course Requirements

The graduate certificate consists of 15 credits.

Required Courses (12 Credits)

  • EDAC 631 Adult and Community Education (3 credits) 
    or EDAC 634 The Adult as a Learner (3 credits)
  • EDAC 635 Strategies for Teaching Adults* (3 credits)
  • EDAC 638 Program Planning in Community and Adult Education (3 credits)
    Offered on-site at our main campus or at Ball State center in
    Fishers; a substitution can be allowed for online-only students)
  • EDAC 655 Continuing Education for Professionals (3 credits)

Elective (3 Credits)

  • EDAC 629 Psychology of Adult Adjustment* (3 credits)
  • EDAC 632 Organizing Adult and Community Education Programs (3 credits)
    Offered on-site at our main campus or at a Ball State center in
    Fishers; a substitution may be allowed for online-only students)
  • EDAC 644 Collaborative Learning in AHCE (3 credits)
  • EDAC 646 Working with Volunteer Community Agencies (3 credits)
  • EDAC 648 The Community Educator (3 credits)

Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

No GRE is required.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

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Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.