Program Overview

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Degree Offered

Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Adult Education / Human Resource Development

‘The AHRD program helped me define what I wanted to become. The faculty and staff supported my next steps as a professional in the Instructional Design and Technology field.’

— Courtney Uram (’09)

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employment rate within 3 months of graduation


Blending adult learning theory, instructional technology, and talent development, the Adult Education and Human Resource Development (AHRD) master’s program creates an engaging and innovative learning environment for students who want to help employees perform at their best. Students who complete this program, Education, Adult Education/Human Resource Development: Individualized Concentration, M.S.Ed., learn to identify workplace performance gaps and develop learning solutions using industry best practices so that employees can succeed and grow. Our students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be leaders and contribute to high-quality, sustainable organizations. Our core program curriculum is aligned with industry standards, while also allowing students to focus their studies on topics most relevant to their career goals and interests.

Our curriculum provides a strong foundation in theory with the applied skills to take the concepts and practical experience into a range of career fields, such as instructional design, human capital consulting, and corporate training. Plus, the program includes a blend of online and face-to-face instruction, making it accessible for full-time students in the local area and working professionals. Our graduates serve in dynamic roles across multiple sectors including higher education, business, government, and non-profit organizations.

The mission of the AHRD program is to prepare professionals to lead, design, implement and evaluate learning programs within education, business, industry, government, military, health care, and other public and private sector organizations. In addition to delivering effective instruction, AHRD professionals design ways to improve human performance, facilitate change and enhance creativity.

By completing our program, graduates will be able to:

  • Understand and apply systems theory, analytic systems, principles of adult development, learning theory and leadership theory.
  • Understand business, industry, educational and other organizational settings.
  • Identify, understand and build effective organizational relationships that support teaching, learning and continuous human performance improvement appropriate to the context.
  • Organize, manage and evaluate teaching, learning and continuous human performance improvement efforts.
  • Analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate targeted curriculum in appropriate modes (including distance, action, self-directed, transformative, informal learning, etc.) for individual, team and organizational applications with a focus on continuous human performance improvement.
  • Facilitate and lead team-based learning activities appropriate to the context.
  • Apply appropriate technologies in the creation of learning programs.
  • Recognize and respond responsibly to issues of diversity and ethics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to articulate and forecast the vision and role for teaching, learning and continuous human performance improvement appropriate to a context.
  • Interpret and conduct research.

Learners pursuing the M.S.Ed in adult education/human resource development must follow several fundamental guidelines:

  • Consult program advisers for advice and approval regarding the overall program and the concentration.
  • Plan to count no more than six credit hours of workshop credit in any degree program. To be accepted, workshop courses must be approved for credit in the program. The program will not accept workshop courses offered by departments outside the College of Education for elective credit.
  • Adhere to The Graduate School policy that at least half of the courses be at the 600 level.
  • Secure the required approval of program and concentration advisers for any course credits to be transferred into a JMU degree program.



Individualized Concentration

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