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Adult and Community Education, MA: Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Adult and Community Education (ACE) is a 36-semester-hour program that offers a balance of academic courses, individual research, and practical field experience.

Course Course Name Credits (Non-Thesis) Credits (Thesis)
ACE 620 Introduction to ACE 3 3
ACE 621 The Adult Learner 3 3
ACE 622 Program and Process Development in ACE 3 3
ACE 623 Organization and Administration in ACE 3 3
ACE 625 Facilitating Adult Learning 3 3
GSR 615 Elements of Research 3 3
ACE 735 Analysis of the Professional Literature in ACE 3 3
ACE 740 Internship 6 6
ACE 745 Practical Research 3 3
ACE 850 Thesis 0 3
  Electives 6 3
Total   36 36

Thesis/Non-Thesis Option

Students can elect to do a thesis or take the non-thesis option. The thesis is a formal research project overseen by a faculty committee. Students electing the thesis option are committed to academic excellence through conducting an extensive research study. Students electing the non-thesis option must pass a comprehensive examination, which is usually completed during the last semester of a student’s program. For information on IUP policies pertaining to writing a thesis, please refer to the Thesis/Dissertation Manual.

The following PDF and searchable Excel document contain a list of practical research conducted by former ACE students:

ACE Practical Research (PDF)

ACE Practical Research (Excel)

Elective Courses

ACE students are required to take elective courses. Qualifying electives can be selected from graduate courses offered at IUP or transferred to IUP from other institutions. The following link contains a list of graduate courses in the College of Education that qualify as electives for the ACE program ( COE Electives). Because graduate courses and requirements differ from department to department and instructor to instructor, students are encouraged to contact the instructor or department for more information before registering for a course.

Internship

A six-semester-hour internship is required of students in the ACE program. The internship is a theory-to-practice exercise in which students transfer what they have learned in class to a real-world setting. For the internship, students develop a “learning contract” which is approved by a faculty advisor and a supervisor at the site where the internship will take place. Students can complete the internship without it interfering with their current employment. (ACE Internship Handbook)

The following PDF and searchable Excel documents contain a list of former ACE student's internship site information:

ACE Internship Sites (PDF)

ACE Internship Sites (Excel)

Comprehensive Examination

Students in the non-thesis option are required to take a comprehensive exam. The exam is typically scheduled during the last semester of enrollment in the ACE program. The comps is a three-hour written exam covering selected topics learned in the various courses and projects. Complete guidelines for the comps are included in the handout.

Rotation of Courses

Courses in the ACE program are offered online in a two-year rotation. The following schedule shows the most recent rotation of courses for academic years 2013–2014 and 2014–2015. The rotation shown below will repeat beginning with the Fall semester, 2016. It is recommended that students register for two courses per semester and begin with ACE 620 and 621. Students may, however, begin the ACE program in any semester.

Semester
 Courses
Fall 2013

ACE 620, Introduction to Adult and Community Education 

ACE 621, The Adult Learner 

Spring 2014

ACE 622, Program and Process Development in Adult and Community Education

GSR 615, Elements of Research 

Summer 2014

ACE 650*, Current Topics in Adult and Community Education

ACE 740†, Internship in Adult and Community Education  

Fall 2014

ACE 623, Organization and Administration in Adult and Community Education

ACE 735, Analysis of the Professional Literature in Adult and Community Education   

Spring 2015

ACE 625, Facilitating Adult Learning

ACE 745, Practical Research in Adult and Community Education  

Summer 2015

ACE 650*, Current Topics in Adult and Community Education

ACE 740†, Internship in Adult and Community Education   

Fall 2015

ACE 620, Introduction to Adult and Community Education

ACE 621, The Adult Learner  

Spring 2016

ACE 622, Program and Process Development in Adult and Community Education

GSR 615, Elements of Research 

*ACE 650 is a special topics course. Students may register for ACE 650 more than once, as the topics of the course change each time it is offered.

†ACE 740 is the internship. Students are required to register for ACE 740 two times. Six credits of internship are required for graduation.   

Course Descriptions

ACE 620 Introduction to Adult and Community Education
A survey course which examines the fields of adult education and community education philosophically and historically and in terms of current programs and processes. The course includes the study of adult and community education principles and concepts as well as literature and resources.

ACE 621 The Adult Learner
The course focuses on the adult as learner, including physiological, psychological, and sociological characteristics and their effect on learning.

ACE 622 Program and Process Development in Adult and Community Education
A knowledge- and skill-building course designed for present and future adult and community education practitioners. This how-to course examines concepts and practices relevant to the development of educational programs in traditional and nontraditional settings.

ACE 623 Organization and Administration in Adult and Community Education
This course introduces the student to basic theories of leadership, management, and organizational structure. It includes study and application of the tasks, tools, strategies, and leadership roles of administrators in adult and community education.

ACE 625 Facilitating Adult Learning
This course examines teaching and learning theories as they relate to adults: the teaching-learning process in a variety of educational settings; instructional methods, techniques, and devices that are effective with adults; and instructional designs and evaluation methods that are effective in the teaching-learning process.

ACE 650 Current Topics in Adult and Community Education
Explores current issues, trends, and topics in depth in a workshop format. Topics will be selected by the faculty and announced in advance of the semester in which the course is to be offered. Topics may include issues in continuing higher education, volunteerism, adult career development, managing nonprofit organizations, group processes in adult education, and current issues in research. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

ACE 735 Analysis of the Professional Literature in Adult and Community Education
This course involves an intensive study of special topics in adult and community education with a research emphasis. Research content varies according to student interest. Prerequisites: nine credits in Adult and Community Education and permission

ACE 740 Internship in Adult and Community Education
This is an individually-designed field project in which students work with a site project supervisor and a university advisor. The six-credit internship is a single project taken in two phases, each earning three credits. Prerequisites: nine credits in Adult and Community Education and permission

GSR 615 Elements of Research
Selection of a research problem, data collection, types of research, research reports, and use of libraries and computers in connection with research problems are addressed. Elements of statistics are introduced. This course provides background for preparation of research projects, including the thesis, and enables students to become intelligent consumers of academic research.

ACE 745 Practical Research in Adult and Community Education
Practical research in adult and community education is designed to have students conduct and report a formal research study in their field of interest. Students formulate a research problem and design a plan of inquiry to provide an answer(s) to their research problem(s). Students must be able to interpret their findings and communicate them both orally and in writing at a professional level. Prerequisites: GSR 615 and permission

ACE 850 Thesis
Students selecting the thesis option will complete a thesis project with a committee consisting of at least three faculty members.

  • Adult and Community Education Department
  • Davis Hall, Room 104
    570 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2470
  • Fax: 724-357-3085
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.