III. EXPLORING POSITIONS
Description: A person who leads adults to learn such as a community-based trainer, independent consultant or college faculty.
Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The adult educator has a depth of knowledge in a specific field of study gained from college preparation and from experience. Besides the subject area, the adult educator holds a developmental point of view, adheres to the principles of adult learning, understands adult learning styles, and is familiar with systems in which adults work and live. The skills of an adult educator include planning and facilitating learning environments and content, public speaking, negotiation and problem solving, and active listening techniques. The adult educator has dispositions of kindness, tact, humor, empathy, and confidentiality.
Employment Settings: The adult educator may work for a community-based organization to provide training for its members or the community at large. The independent consultant works in a variety of settings dependent on the nature of the training. Professional Development may be offered to individuals, in small groups or to large audiences. The college faculty member works in an adult classroom environment (actual or virtual) within a large bureaucratic organization in an adjunct (part-time, contracted to teach one or more courses, on a semester-by-semester basis) or in a full-time, tenure track position capacity.
Required Qualifications: A Bachelor’s Degree is typically the minimum requirement for the adult educator except in certain circumstances where the person's knowledge and experience are a consideration and the level of higher education is less of a factor. Adult educators are encouraged to complete the NYS Early Learning Trainers Credential in addition to continuing education within their content area.
Preparation: The adult educator prepares by fulfilling the educational requirements, gaining sufficient experience and knowledge to be a credible authority on a specific subject, and developing public speaking and presentation skills. Experience may be gained by presenting at local conferences, participating in local speaking organizations such as Toastmasters International, and being mentored by an experienced adult educator who will give helpful advice.
Alternate Pathways: The adult educator can gain experience in other fields such as religious education and involvement in community organizations, scouting, or PTA. Experience in speaking and leading groups of adults in addition to relevant education and training can prepare a person for a career in adult education.
Opportunity For Advancement: As an agency employee, advancement depends on the organization, the size and the kinds of training it offers. An independent consultant is self employed. As college faculty in a tenure track position, advancement occurs through the ranks of Lecturer, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor. Each level has criteria for advancement with an increase in salary. College faculty are typically ten-month employees with the opportunity for summer employment or additional responsibilities within the academic year that may result in additional income. Professional development funds are usually available for faculty but may not be available for the agency employee or consultant.
Serving Children Directly – Does not apply
Serving Families Directly – Parent educator, college faculty, GED instructor, family educator
Serving Professionals – Mentor, coach Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) trainer, college faculty
Providing Information Goods and Services – Community resource agent, curriculum developer, author, developer or marketer of educational products, educational consultant, college professor