Adult & Developmental Education (455F)

students doing group work with laptops at a table

The purpose of the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) concentration in Adult & Developmental Education (ADE) is to prepare individuals to be educational leaders in programs serving non-traditional students at two-year or four-year colleges and in adult education programs in businesses and community agencies.

Graduates are typically employed in the following types of positions:

  • vice-presidents, deans, program directors
  • directors of instructional support services
  • lead faculty in college readiness programs (basic skills and developmental education)
  • lead faculty in vocational programs
  • lead faculty in ESOL programs
  • professional developers/trainers

Particular attention is given to addressing the developmental needs of academically underprepared students. This program includes coursework in assessing adult learning needs and in planning, administering, and implementing courses, workshops, and programs for adults.

Location and Delivery 

The Adult & Developmental Education concentration is offered off-campus through App State Online 

  • Students in the Ed.S. concentration enroll as part of a cohort and take classes together over the course of the program. 
  • Students should expect two courses per term, including summer. Each course will have a synchronous meeting one evening per week.  

Current Cohorts 

At this time, cohorts for our online Ed.S. are only started in fall semesters. 

Concentration Requirements

The Ed.S. degree in Higher Education requires coursework totaling 30 credit hours. The following courses are required for the concentration in Adult & Developmental Education: The following Check sheet is for the Fall 2020 and Beyond. 


Core (12 hours)

  • HE 6040: Readings in Postsecondary Education
  • HE 6320: Institutional Effectiveness
  • HE 6330: Organizing for Learning and Diversity
  • RES 6000: Advanced Research Methods, Design, and Application

Concentration (18 hours)

  • HE 6090: Seminar in Adult and Developmental Education
  • HE 6310: Critical Issues in Adult and Developmental Education
  • HE 6370: Designing Culturally-Responsive Learning Environments
  • Elective 1
  • Elective 2
  • Elective 3

Other requirements for completion of the degree include:

Education Specialist to Doctorate Advantage

Through another of its graduate programs, App State offers a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership. This is a terminal degree for leaders in both K-12 and postsecondary settings. In the summer of 2014, an articulation agreement was reached between the Higher Education Graduate Program and the Educational Leadership Program. At least 24 hours from the EDS-ADE concentration will transfer into the doctoral program; for all 30 hours to transfer, EDS-ADE students need to include the following courses as electives:

  • HE 6360: Organizational Analysis in Higher Education
  • HE 6350: Leading Organizational Change in Higher Education

Applying to the Program 

Individuals interested in applying to our program can find admissions requirements here, our current deadlines are listed below: 

  • Fall Term: February 1 (priority deadline), July 1 (final deadline)

For More Information

  • Graduate Bulletin
  • For information about program scholarships, click here.
  • For information about the M.A. program, contact Dr. Stacey Garrett, Program Director at or 828-262-3112.
  • For information about the Ed.S. and Graduate Certificate programs, Contact Dr. Krista Wojdak at or(828) 262-6052.
  • For information about App State Online, click here.
  • If you have attended the Kellogg Institute for Developmental Education and would like information about how to incorporate the Kellogg credits into the Ed.S. degree, contact Dr. Andrew Koricich at