Adult Learning and Leadership EdM

Master of Education in Adult Learning and Leadership


Lifelong learning for adults is an increasingly important educational specialization in the 21st century. Rapid changes are transforming society and making it critical for adults to continue to learn across the lifespan. Much of that learning takes place in classrooms, but a lot of learning also occurs informally through interaction in groups, communities, organizations, and social networks.

The Adult Learning & Leadership program, at the Ed.M. level, prepares professionals who have experience in designing and delivering adult learning and development in and outside the classroom, and who wish to build their capabilities as leaders of such learning. The intellectual framework of the program examines the relationship of adult learning to organizational, management and leadership issues. The program prepares students to oversee and manage adult learning programs and interventions, with a focus on strategic learning and whole system change. Students can deepen their capabilities as facilitators of learning and in helping organizations, communities, or other institutions to support learning for individuals and for the organizations or other social units that benefit from the lifelong learning of its members.

With advisor approval, up to 30 graduate credits from an accredited graduate program/institution with a grade of B or better can be transferred from outside of TC, and that some credits taken at TC in other programs can also be applied (no need to transfer) -- within College guidelines and if they can satisfy program plan requirements.

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Admissions Information

Master of Education

  • Points/Credits: 60
  • Entry Terms: Fall Only

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): January 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

Requirements from the TC Catalog

View Full Catalog Listing

The Adult Learning & Leadership program, at the Ed.M. level, is appealing to professionals who hold a masters degree in a substantive area, but who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in supporting adult growth in organizations and helping adults learn. Students build on prior knowledge to advance their capabilities and conduct research in their areas of interest. . The intellectual framework of the program examines the relationship of adult learning to organizational, management and leadership issues with a focus on strategic learning and whole system change. Students can deepen their capabilities as facilitators of learning and in helping organizations, communities, or other institutions to support learning for individuals and for the organizations or other social units that benefit from the lifelong learning of its members. 

The Ed.M. program in Adult Learning and Leadership is structured around a sequence of core courses, research requirements and electives. A culminating project with a research component is required. In addition to three required Foundations courses, students may choose courses to take in the following areas: adult development; adult learning theory and applications; program development and evaluation; systems learning; leadership; strategy and management; human resource development; group dynamics; organizational behavior; technology; conflict resolution; and research. At least one course is to be taken (or transferred from prior accredited graduate study) in each of these twelve areas. 

Please see the most recent Program of Study Advisement Guide (located on the Adult Learning and Leadership program website as a PDF file) for actual core sequence requirements.

Minimum point requirement:

Ed.M. students must complete 60 credits of coursework and conduct a culminating research study.

 

Required Coursework:

Foundations (6)—choose from the following:

  • ORLD 4050 Introduction to adult and continuing ed (3)

  • ORLD 4053 Facilitating adult learning (3)

  • ORLD 5057 Adult learning & education: Theory & practice (3)

Adult Development (6 credits):

  • ORLD 4051 How adults learn (3)

  • ORLD 5070 Leadership for adult development (3)

  • HUDK 4024 Developmental psychology: Adult learning and the lifespan (3)

  • HUDK 5023 Cognitive development (3)

  • HUDK 5027 Moral development (3)

  • HUDK 5028 Spiritual development across the lifespan (3)

Adult Learning Theory and Applications (12 credits)—choose from the following:

  • ORLD 4060 Coaching from an adult learning perspective (3)

  • ORLD 4091 Somatics: Mind/body approach to leadership development (3)

  • ORLD 4815 Developing critical thinkers (1)

  • ORLD 4827 Fostering transformative learning (2-3)

  • ORLD 4828 Imagination, authenticity, and individuation in transformative learning (2-3)

  • ORLD 4844 Helping adults learn (1)

  • ORLD 4850 Discussion as a way of teaching (1)

  • ORLD 4855 Learning as a way of leading (1)

  • ORLD 5057 Adult learning and education: Theory and practice (3)

  • ORLD 5815 Critical theory and adult learning (1)

Program Development and Evaluation (3 credits)—choose from the following:

  • ORLD 5053 Developing and managing adult learning programs (3)

  • ORL 5522 Evaluation methods I (3)

Systems Learning (3 credits)—choose from the following:

  • ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capability with cultural intelligence (CQ) (3)

  • ORLD 5550 Research on organizational learning (3)

  • ORLD 5061 The learning organization (3)

Leadership (3 credits)—choose from the following:

  • ORLD 5023 Leadership and self-development (3)

  • ORLD 5540 Social entrepreneurship & leadership (3)

  • ORLD 5821 Leveraging emotional intelligence (EQ) to enhance organizational effectiveness (3)

Strategy and Management (3 credits):

  • ORLD 4085 Management & leadership skills in practice (3)

  • ORLD 5054 Strategy development as a learning process in organizations (3)

  • ORLD 6054 Learning to think strategically (3)

Human Resource Development (3 credits):

  • ORLD 5055 Staff development and training (3)

  • ORLD 5062 Human resource development in organizations (3)

  • ORLD 5073 Action learning design and coaching (3)

  • ORLJ 5003 Human resource management (3)

Group Dynamics (3 credits):

  • ORLD 5822 Building productive relationships with social intelligence (SQ) (3)

  • ORL 5362 Group dynamics: A systems perspective (3)

Organizational Behavior (3 credits):

  • ORLD 5822 Building productive relationships with social intelligence (SQ) (3)

  • ORLA 4010 Introduction to organizational analysis in education (3)

  • ORLJ 4005 Organizational psychology (3) (Note: This is a prerequisite for many ORLJ courses)

  • ORLJ 5045 Organizational dynamics and theory (3)

Technology (3 credits):

  • ORLD 5050 Mobile learning design for professional growth (3)

  • ORLD 5060 Learning and technology in organizations (3)

Conflict Resolution (minimum of 3 points):

  • ORLJ 5148 Managing conflicts in organizations (3)

  • ORLJ 5340 Adaptive negotiation & conflict resolution (3)

Research Requirements

Ed.M. (minimum 6 points):

Ed.M. students must take two research courses, one of which must be a statistics course.

Elective Courses

Electives are tailored to the student’s career goals and can be taken in the Department or elsewhere in Teachers College or Columbia University. Electives can include transfer courses. Students are required to take a minimum of 6 points total at Teachers College outside of our immediate program area to satisfy the Teachers College breadth requirement.

Final Project

Ed.M. (Culminating Project)

Required

Research-based

Guidelines for the Ed.M. Culminating Project are available in the Program of Study Advisement Guides (as PDF files) located on the Adult Learning and Leadership program website.

Students should meet with their advisor the semester before they plan on graduating to review the guidelines.

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