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Adult Learning and Development Certificate

Reach your career goals by attaining a certificate in Adult Learning and Development.

Reach Your Career Goals

With an increased demand for qualified adult educators, the APHE program can help you obtain a degree intended to increase the knowledge and competence of those who work with adult learners in a variety of areas that include community-based education, workplace learning, human resources, healthcare education and higher education.

The certificate in Adult Learning and Development offers convenience and flexibility by being able to complete the entire certificate online. Courses are offered in an online (web) format for students who have additional commitments such as child and family care and/or demanding work schedules. The online (web) format follows the same rigorous curricula as on- campus options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for our graduates.

The certificate offers rolling admissions so interested students can apply at any time and if accepted, enroll in courses any semester. In addition, most of our courses can be taken in any sequence, which allows you to take coursework on your preferred timeline.

The Adult Learning and Development certificate at CSU is unique in that it provides an urban perspective and experience. In addition, the certificate is practitioner-oriented, grounded in theory.

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People working on computers
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Time to Complete

You can graduate with the certificate within three semesters by taking two courses each semester. Students who need more time for personal and/or professional reasons have the flexibility to complete the certificate within a timeframe that meets their needs.

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5 courses totaling 15 credits

Program highlights

The certificate in Adult Learning and Development prepares professionals who reflect our commitment to educational excellence for adults through teaching, research, and service. We are focused on leadership, social justice, and partnerships in addressing contemporary urban needs and our program’s goals reflect the college mission.

Typically, students enroll in 1-2 courses (3-6 credit hours) a semester. You can graduate with the certificate within three semesters by taking two courses each semester. Students who need more time for personal and/or professional reasons have the flexibility to complete the certificate within a timeframe that meets their needs. The certificate is 15 credit hours (each course is 3 credit hours) so you would take five courses.

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Man working on computer

Learning Methodology

Students take four required core courses (12 credit hours). The remaining course is dependent on your interests, thus allowing you to develop an expertise in this area, totaling 15 credit hours.

Students take four required courses and one elective (15 credit hours) that help enhance skills in:

  • Adult learning theory
  • Adult development theory
  • Program planning and evaluation
  • Curriculum design and instruction
  • Adult education context
  • Organizational development theory
  • Diversity

Coursework consists of student-centered approaches to teaching and learning. This includes collaborative learning opportunities and discussions, critical reflection, and research projects that focus on real world application of course content. Our certificate encourages in-depth and challenging learning environment which can be applied to one’s immediate and future work and life context.

Admissions Requirements


The certificate program requires a total of fifteen credit hours: a twelve-credit core of required courses and three credits of elective course work chosen by the student with approval from program faculty.

Required Courses

ALD 605Adult Learning & Development Theories and Practice3 Credits
ALD 607Adult Education in a Changing Society3 Credits
ALD 645Organizational Learning and Change3 Credits
ALD 663Planning Programs for Adult Learners3 Credits

Course work chosen by the student with faculty approval (3 credits).

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Man smiling in classroom

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and financial aid for CSU programs are kept competitive so you can receive the education you deserve. Tuition for online programs and courses follows the same fee structure as traditional, on-campus programs and courses. Current CSU Graduate tuition costs can be found on the Bursar’s website.

Approximately 70% of CSU’s students receive some form of financial assistance. The University participates in or administers all the major federal and state grant and loan programs. In addition, CSU provides University grants and scholarships.

To begin the financial aid process, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file a FAFSA every year after January 1st to receive your financial aid. Cleveland State University’s financial aid school code is 003032.

If you have any questions, visit the Financial Aid section of CSU’s website, or contact the Financial Aid office.



Our faculty are accomplished in the field of adult education, higher education, workplace learning, and healthcare education. They have published books, have numerous articles published in top tier journals, and presented at international and national conferences.

Our scholar–practitioners are here to help you succeed by providing a supportive learning environment within the classroom setting, as well as through mentoring outside the classroom. Faculty are available face-to-face and virtually to help you meet your educational and career goals through advising and mentoring experiences.

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CSU trees blooming

Student Success Coaching

At CSU, you will be paired with a Student Success Coach to support you on your journey from acceptance into a program to graduation. Coaches help with:

  • Time management
  • Study strategies
  • Focus techniques
  • Work-life balance
  • Academic support resources
  • Navigating University policies and procedures
  • Resolving issues and locating the right resources

Student Success Coaches will reach out to you for a welcome call early in your program. Coaches can help you create an academic success plan with strategies and goals that will help you be successful. Student Success Coaches are available to you throughout your program. Student Success Coaches do not replace academic advisors or other counselors, but rather work as a team with them to provide you with all the right resources.

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Girl looking at her computer
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Career Outcomes

The certificate in Adult Learning and Development prepares you to work with adult learners in a variety of areas that include community-based education, workplace learning, human resources development, healthcare education, and higher education.

Students who choose the adult education specialization may pursue a career as a(n):

  • GED/HS Equivalency instructor
  • Corrections educator
  • Adult literacy teacher
  • Program coordinator
  • Community school administrator
  • Educational policy maker
  • Instructional designer
  • Employee of a non-profit agency (cultural institution, senior citizen center, zoo)

Connect with us to learn more

Fill out the form to connect with a Cleveland State University admission counselor who can provide additional information about your program of interest, the admission process, financial aid, and more.