Adult Basic Education Post-baccalaureate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeEsther Prins
Program CodeABE
Campus(es)World Campus

The goal of the program is to build educators’ capacity to provide high- quality, research-based instruction in adult basic education (ABE), especially literacy and numeracy. The program is intended for people who are working, or wish to work, with adults who struggle with reading, writing, math, and/or English language proficiency. ABE instruction typically occurs in adult literacy, family literacy, GED, English as a second language (ESL), or developmental education classes offered by community-based organizations, community colleges, school districts, libraries, and alternative schools, among others. Delivered online through the World Campus, the 12-credit certificate includes three required courses and one elective, which allows students to tailor the program to their specific interests, such as ESL, program planning and administration, distance education, educational technology, adult learning, or other topics.

Effective Semester: Spring 2020
Expiration Semester: Spring 2025

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Required Courses
ADTED 460Introduction to Lifelong Learning and Adult Education3
ADTED 560Teaching Reading to College Students and Adults3
ADTED 480Teaching Math and Numeracy to Adults3
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Distance Education
The Teaching of Adults
Program Planning in Adult Education
Research and Evaluation in Adult Education
Course Design and Development in Distance Education
Perspectives on Adult Learning Theory
Administration of Adult Education
Systematic Instructional Development
Total Credits12


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. ADULT LIT & NUMERACY: Students will learn theories and methods of adult learning to more effectively teach adult literacy and numeracy.
  2. TEACHING ADULTS: Students will learn and understand models, motivation, issues, and instructional procedures of adult and distance education.
  3. ADULT LEARNING: Students will learn and understand the history, theories,and models of adult learning.
  4. PROGRAM PLANNING: Students will learn about program planning, including administering and designing courses and activities in an AE program.
  5. EVALUATION and RESEARCH of AE PROGRAMS: Students will learn research and evaluation models and methods in AE programs.


Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Esther Susana Prins
Program Contact

Elisabeth L. McLean
501A Walker Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 863-3777

Program Website View