If you have questions or comments about the Ph.D. in Adult and Continuing Education, please send an e-mail to adultedolathe@k-state.edu.

College of Education
006 Bluemont Hall
1100 Mid-Campus Drive
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-5525
785-532-7304 fax
edcoll@k-state.edu

Ph.D. Curriculum

The Ph.D. in Adult and Continuing Education is comprised of 90 post-baccalaureate, graduate credit hours from five general areas: required core, 900-level coursework, research core, electives, and dissertation. With approval of the supervisory committee, up to 30 graduate credit hours from the master’s degree may be used to satisfy degree requirements. Students must pass comprehensive exams prior to becoming a candidate for the doctoral degree.

Master’s degree: (30 credits typically recognized)

Required Academic Core (18 credits)

Students who do not have a master’s degree in adult education must take these foundation courses. These courses may be waived for students with a master’s degree in adult education.

EDACE 780 Introduction to Adult Education (3 credits)

Course Description

This is a foundation course that acquaints the student with the diverse and evolving field of adult education. It provides a systematic base for further studies in adult education. The broad purpose of this course is to have students explore the scope and significance of the field and its contributions to present-day learning in society. The student should leave this course with the beginning perspective of how adult education emerged, how it is presently changing, and how it interrelates with other fields and disciplines.

EDACE 790 Characteristics of the Adult Learner (3 credits)

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to help the student gain increased knowledge about the characteristics of adults and how these impact learning. Students will be asked to develop a critical understanding of relevant theories, concepts, and research. Lastly, they will develop a better understanding of themselves as an adult learner.

EDACE 818 Social Foundations of Adult Education (3 credits)

Course Description

This course is designed for adult and continuing education students and college or university personnel in sociology and related fields dealing with adults. It is based on the premise that learning is affected by society, government, and economics. Included is an in-depth examination of the relationship between adult education and culture.

EDACE 830 Program Planning in Adult Education (3 credits)

Course Description

This course includes an analysis of major approaches of program planning and development and discussion of assumptions related to successful program planning in several types of organizations. It outlines the importance of program planning and elements of a systematic planning process.

EDACE 847 Adult Learning and Motivation (3 credits)

Course Description

This course will examine current adult learning and motivational concepts. Emphasis will be on gaining an understanding of how to create learning environments that enhance adult motivation to learn. Additionally, the practical application of learning theories in the classroom will be explored.

EDCEP 816 Research Methods in Education (or an equivalent course)
(3 credits)

Course Description

This course will focus upon the fundamental principles and methods of social science research. Additionally, it will provide an opportunity for students to become critical readers of research-based literature in adult education through developing an understanding of the key aspects of quantitative, qualitative, and action-based analytical methods and research traditions.


Required 900-level Doctoral Curriculum (Students must complete 4 of the following courses)

EDACE 880 Significant Literature of Adult Education (3 credits)

Course Description

A seminar studying the significant literature of adult education from a current and historic perspective.

EDACE 916 Foundations of Adult Education (3 credits)

Course Description

A study of adult education historical perspectives, contemporary institutions and programs, teaching-learning process, administrative practices, and conceptual roles.

EDACE 937 Organization and Administration of Adult Education
(3 credits)

Course Description

A critical study of organizational procedures and administrative practices as related to the implementation and maintenance of an effective program in adult education.

EDACE 940 Adult Development Theory (3 credits)

Course Description

Study all pertinent adult development theories.

EDACE 986 Scholarly Writing (3 credits)

Course Description

This course enables students to develop the writing skills they need to become successful writers in their academic and post-academic careers. Course topics focus on students’ disciplines and include annotated bibliographies, critiques, and literature reviews.

EDACE 986 Dissertation (3 credits)

Course Description

Students analyze dissertations and write a draft of Chapter 1 for their dissertation proposal.


Required Research Courses (9 credits minimum)

  • EDCEP 817: Statistical Methods in Education (3 credits)
  • EDCEP 917: Experimental Design in Educational Research (3 credits)
  • EDLEA 838: Qualitative Research in Education (3 credits)

Elective Courses (9 credit hours – 3 credit hours should be
in the area of research)

Any EDACE (700 level or above) courses satisfy electives or students may work with their major professor to take courses in a specific cognate area. 


Doctoral Research (30 credits minimum)

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