Conference Opportunities

Our annual Research Conference in Adult, Community, and Higher Education (ARCACHE) Conference, held on the Ball State campus in Muncie, Indiana, means you can attend, present, and meet internationally recognized adult educators and researchers in the field.

Ball State’s master’s in adult and community education is one of just a few programs in the nation that has a strong community education focus.

Today businesses and organizations see training programs as necessary for professional development and retention of effective employees. Adult and community educators are being welcomed into the workplace to plan, design, implement, and evaluate programs for adults.

But the Ball State master’s in adult and community education will show you that teaching adults is quite different from instructing younger populations. You’ll experience a teaching theory that is frequently more collaborative and cooperative, and always student led. Different teaching philosophies come to life with each professor you encounter. And one of your very first courses will help you develop, like your professors, your own teaching style.

This degree provides the flexibility of taking courses face-to-face, online, or a blend of both. Courses are offered online, on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana, or at Ball State centers in downtown Indianapolis and Fishers, Indiana. Face-to-face courses are offered on weekday evenings (Monday through Thursday) or five full-day Saturdays.

Academic Advisors

Ruby Cain, Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Studies

Double Your Degree

By just taking one additional 3 credit class, you will complete a double major in adult and community education and executive development for public service.

What It's Like to Pursue a Master's Degree in Adult and Community Education

Why get a master’s degree in adult and community education at Ball State?

  • This master’s degree has a proven track record with a 60+-year history.
  • You can choose from face-to-face courses, online courses, or a blend of both.
  • Designed specifically for working adults, the program offers courses in the evening and on five Saturdays.
  • Our master's is the only one in this discipline in the state of Indiana that gives you the option of taking face-to-face courses.
  • A program for practitioners, you’ll do projects—such as evaluating a program in your workplace—instead of taking tests.
  • Such project-based learning affords you with the opportunity to connect theories and methodologies with real-world experiences.
  • Racial and ethnic diversity is a hallmark of the program.
  • With classes averaging between 12 and 20 students, the program’s professors are your personal mentors.
  • Adult learner principles are taught and demonstrated since each professor has a different teaching philosophy.
  • You will learn to deliver adult education programs to learners of diverse backgrounds, needs, learning styles, and professional goals.
  • Up to 30 credits can be transferred into Ball State’s EdD in adult and community education.
  • You will have the opportunity to conduct or participate in research studies, present at conferences, and submit journal articles.
  • You will have access to textbook authors and internationally known leaders in the field via adult, continuing, and community education via conferences, video conferencing, and direct one-on-one communications.

Our adult and community education program allows you to gain skills in:

  • instructional design
  • staff development
  • program evaluation
  • community education development

This degree can also prepare your for entry into our doctorate in adult and community education.

Program content includes:

  • adult and community learning concepts, theories, and practices
  • educational program design, implementation, and evaluation
  • strategies for creating and sustaining learning organizations
  • interaction of educational, social, political, and economic systems within communities

Course Requirements

The master’s in adult and community education program requires completion of at least 30 credits of graduate course work. A minimum of 18 credits must be completed in the major, supplemented in by a research course and electives from the major or related subjects. If you choose electives from the major, you are encouraged to design an area of concentration (9 credits) in either adult or community education. You must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. An exact program is designated to fit students' needs and meet degree requirements.

Courses for the master of arts in adult and community education are chosen from the following:

All of these courses are required.

  • *EDAC 631 Adult and Community Education (3 credits) 
  • +EDAC 632 Organizing Adult and Community Education Programs (3 credits)  
    Online-only students can negotiate another course with advisor for this on-campus course. 
  • *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) 
    Online-only students can substitute EDST 655 or EDAC 681 for this on-campus course.
  • *EDAC 648 The Community Educator (3 credits) 

*Online-only courses

+With advisor approval, on-site courses can be substituted with online-only courses.

In addition to core courses, you must either write a master's thesis or select one of the following research courses:

  • *EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)          
  • *EDST 697 The Grant Process and Research (3 credits)
  • *EDPS 640 Research Methods (3 credits)
  • *EDPS 641 Statistical Methods in Educational and Psychological Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 650 Introduction to Qualitative Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 660 Ethnographic Research in Education (3 credits)
  • THES 698 Thesis (6 credits)

*Offered online

+With advisor approval, on-site courses can be substituted with online-only courses. 

In addition, you must complete 9 additional credits in adult and community education or from any other related field at Ball State. Your advisor can help you find classes that best fit your career goals.

Adult Education Courses

  • *EDAC 629 Psychology of Adult Adjustment (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 655 Continuing Education for Professionals (3 credits) 
  • EDAC 699 Internship in Adult and Community Education (2-6)
  • *EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)

*Offered online 

Community Education Courses

  • EDAC 640 Foundations of Adult and Community Education (3 credits)
  • EDAC 644 Collaborative Learning in Adult, Higher, and Community Education (3 credits) 
  • *EDAC 646 Working with Volunteers in Community Agencies (3 credits) 
  • *EDAC 681 Managing Community Education (3 credits)
  • EDAC 698 Seminar in Adult and Community Education (3 credits)
    • Institute of Transformative Leadership Fall Semester (5 Saturdays)
    • Cultural Identities & Community Engagement Spring Semester (5 Saturdays)
  • EDAC 699 Internship in Adult and Community Education (2-6 credits)
  • *EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)  

Three courses in one discipline may provide the opportunity to obtain a minor in that field (applicable department approval required). One popular minor is Educational Technology with the following courses:

  • *EDTE 660 Instructional Design and Technology
  • *EDTE 665 Visual and Digital Literacies
  • *EDTE 675 Distance Ed & Distributed Learning Technology

*Offered online

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.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester: July 1
  • Spring semester: December 1
  • Summer semester: April 1


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.

Get Started

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.

International Applicants

If the degree is offered only in an online format, U.S. policies will not allow you to come to the U.S. and take only online courses. However, you may be able to study online from your home country. 

International Students Studying Online Only

If you’re an international student, in addition to meeting the requirements above, you will first need to meet the admission requirements for international graduate students. For information about the international admission process, contact the Rinker Center for International Programs.

If you are receiving sponsorship from your government for your studies, please confirm with your sponsor that you are permitted to enroll in online education courses. It is your responsibility to determine if you can enroll in online courses per your sponsor (if applicable), and the laws and policies of your nation and the United States.

International Students Studying on Campus 

You can only study on campus if the degree has either an on-campus or blended option. Online only degrees cannot be taken on campus. If you’re an international student and wish to study on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana, you will first need to meet the admission requirements for international graduate students. For information about the international admission process, contact the Rinker Center for International Programs

Admission deadlines for international students are earlier. 

Please review the admission deadlines from the Rinker Center so that there is plenty of time to review your application before enrollment deadlines.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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