Date of Graduation

12-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Michael Miller

Committee Member

Adam Morris

Second Committee Member

Richard Newman

Keywords

Adult Education, Northwest Arkansas, Professional Adult Education

Abstract

Professional adult education (PAE) has been described as structured educational activities that are designed or intended to support the continuing development of professional or career skills, knowledge, competencies, and abilities. Previous research has shown that professional adult education is a vehicle for adult learners to continue their education and gain valuable skills which can aide in career mobility. Given the importance of professional adult education as it relates to further development of adult learners, the purpose for conducting this study was to develop a profile of professional adult education providers and programming offered in Northwest Arkansas. In order to develop this profile, the study utilized a case study research design. Internet searches, along with interviews of local professional adult education providers, were conducted to collect data. The study examined Northwest Arkansas adult education providers, characteristics of programming offered, how programming needs are identified and sustained, programming thematically linked to the region, and implications for state and local policy. The findings suggest there are a variety of non-profit and for-profit adult education providers in the region, management and leadership development programming is the most widely offered program type, there are unique professional adult education offerings in the area targeted to the local workforce, and there is programmatic duplication. The results are important for professional adult education providers looking to evaluate the landscape of professional adult education in Northwest Arkansas. The results also improve learning access for adult learners.

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