Application Requirements | Adult Learning and Leadership | Organization and Leadership

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Adult Learning and Leadership

Department of Organization & Leadership

Application Requirements

Applicants to the Adult Learning and Leadership or AEGIS Programs must complete both Teachers College general application requirements and special program requirements as indicated on the chart below. Further explanation of the special program requirements is provided below the chart. Please review the Guide to Admission provided by the Teachers College Office of Admissions for information regarding the Teachers College general application requirements.


Adult Learning and Leadership: Special Requirements
Degree Program Points Code Standardized Exams Writing Sample Other
Adult Learning and Leadership (ALL)
M.A. 45 points TDK N/A N/A  
Ed.M. 60 points TDK N/A Academic writing sample or essay on specified topic  
Ed.D. 90 points TDK N/A Academic writing sample or essay on specified topic.  
Adult Education Guided Intensive Study (AEGIS)
Ed.D. 39 Transfer + 51 TC points TDS N/A 1.) Academic writing sample or essay on specified topic. 2.) AEGIS application essay also required. Interview required. On-site writing assignment on day of interview. Students must have previously completed 39 transferable graduate credits

Guidelines for the Academic Writing Sample or Essay on Specified Topic:

An academic writing sample is required for Ed.M. and Ed.D. (including AEGIS) applicants; an academic writing sample is not required for M.A. applicants. The academic writing sample could be a published or unpublished paper that demonstrates clear, logical, conceptual, and analytical thinking, as well as the proper use of citations and references. Papers written for graduate courses are good academic writing samples; memos or reports, curriculum materials, and other practical writings are not.

If applicants wish, they can meet the academic writing sample requirement by submitting a well-constructed essay of 10-12 double-spaced pages, identifying and discussing a challenge they face in the practice, organization, community, or society in which they work. These challenges may include, among others:

  • meeting lifelong learning needs of adults in the knowledge era;
  • valuing and working with the diversity of adult learners;
  • crafting effective strategies for learning that take into account leadership;
  • structural and cultural factors in the groups, communities, or organizations in which adults live or work;
  • using technology to meet diverse adult learning needs;
  • working with populations that have challenges with English as a first or second language.

Your essay should achieve the following:

  • describe the challenge and the context in which it occurs;
  • discuss your role and that of other relevant stakeholders;
  • discuss the various positions that stakeholders take regarding the challenge, and the various options that can be exercised to address the challenge;
  • identify and relate your discussion to selected relevant theories and research to build your argument.

Pay attention to factors that underlie your thinking and judgments about this challenge, for example, your beliefs and assumptions or those of others; and political, cultural, or other contextual factors. Include a bibliography that is properly formatted in APA, Chicago, or MLA style.

Additional Guidelines for AEGIS Applicants:


Please note: AEGIS applicants must also submit an academic writing sample or an essay on the Adult Learning and Leadership topic, as specified above.

Guidelines for the  Statement of Purpose: Personal statements for the AEGIS program should document experience in leading, designing, or teaching in programs that serve adult learning in a variety of settings: institutions of education, corporations, health care, non-profit and public organizations, or religious and community education initiatives. The personal statement should also identify career/life goals and describe why a degree in this field is a good fit with these goals.

AEGIS Application Essay: The last written requirement for AEGIS applicants is an application essay, not exceeding 10 double-spaced pages, that addresses the following:

For centuries Western philosophical thought has considered the uniqueness of human beings, and how they differ from other species that inhabit the earth and the special responsibility this uniqueness entails.

Thomas Aquinas, building on the work of Aristotle, tells us "that the ultimate intrinsic end of man is the perfection of his highest and specific faculty, namely his intellect." John Donne, when confronted with his own imminent death, tells us that "no man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

In your view what assumptions underlie each of these statements? In what ways are these statements contradictory or complementary? What do these statements tell us about individual and societal responsibility for leadership and learning? What dilemmas, if any, do they suggest for the role of education in society? How should adult educators address these implications? What assumptions are you making about your role as an adult educator in your remarks?


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