2013-14 Catalogs

Certificate of Advanced Study in Adult Learning

The post-master's certificate of advanced study in adult learning is designed for the experienced educator–teacher, counselor, administrator, program planner, or policy maker–who works with adults in any educational setting, or seeks to explore the use of adult learning strategies as an alternative educational approach for working with younger learners. The thirty-credit program emphasizes personal learning as a central theme, both as an approach to educator development and as a set of concepts and tools for working with adults in schools, businesses, social service agencies, hospitals, and other community organizations where adult education programs are planned and delivered. This is an individualized, flexible program which permits students to apply their learning to field-based projects.

Total Required Credits: 30

Required Courses (9 credits)
     HRD 600 History and Philosophy of Adult Education
     HRD 631 The Adult Learner

The HRD courses will be waived for students who have a master's degree in adult education or who have taken them previously. These students will take six credits of advisor-approved coursework instead.

HRD 685 CAS Completion Project in Adult Learning (3 credits)

This field-based capstone project will be completed as one of the following: a field-based study, a public policy initiative, a publishable empirical research and/or theory paper, or a personal learning curriculum for adults. Students will present their projects in a seminar of faculty and peers.

Electives (21 credits)

For course descriptions, please click here: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd

Minimum Requirements: Criteria for admission include successful completion of a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, strong recommendations, documentation of excellent written communication skills, and clarity and strength of professional goals.

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted for three different dates:. May 1 for fall matriculation, October 1 for spring matriculation, and  February 1 for summer matriculation.

  • Candidates should submit all application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.

Application must include:

  • A submitted online graduate admission application;
  • The application fee of $65.00;
  • Two sets of official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including USM;
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study. Recommendations are submitted using our online application form. You will need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation.
  • Essay (see below);
  • Certification of finances (international students only);
  • Submission of official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language);
  • Current resume.

Special Essay Question:

  • Candidates should provide an integrated essay of approximately 1,000 words that includes:
  • Brief autobiography, referencing study in master's degree and related experience, professional training, and credentials.
  • Overall goal to be accomplished through the program.
  • Future aspirations and professional development needs.
  • Tentative list of proposed coursework for the thirty-credit credential.

Note: Candidates whose master's degree and/or work experiences are not strongly related to adult education will be advised to apply to the master's in adult and higher education program.

Transfer Credit

Candidates may transfer up to fifteen credit hours of graduate-level study earned within 5 years at other universities into the CAS in adult learning if these credits were not used as part of another degree or graduate certificate, relate to the subject of adult education/learning, were earned no more than five years prior to admission, and that students received grades of B or better in the classes. In rare situations and when compelling evidence is provided, the program faculty reserves the right to expand the number and age of credits transferred into the CAS in adult learning program beyond the fifteen-credit, five-year rule.