College of Education > Department of Learning and Performance Systems > Lifelong Learning and Adult Education

Lifelong Learning and Adult Education

Welcome page & overview

Welcome to the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program at Penn State: one of the leading international programs in the study and practice of adult teaching and learning! As the oldest program of study in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems, Penn State's Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program has been ranked in the top three university programs around the world for over two decades, in terms of its research productivity by faculty and students. 

Students in ClassroomMore recently, our Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program was ranked second internationally (among more than 50 programs in a dozen countries), based on the decade of scholarly publication from 1993 to 2002*. Such work is typically the fruit of extended, creative collaboration between our program faculty and our doctoral students.  The diverse backgrounds and interests of our doctoral students and faculty mentors have consistently generated articles on varying issues and topics such as adult teaching and learning, HRD and workplace learning, civic engagement and democratic participation, adult and family literacy, and distance education. Newly emerging areas of interest and publication from our program include aspects of lifelong learning within a rapidly changing, globalized world.

Students of Lifelong Learning and Adult Education develop their ability to teach adults, plan adult learning experiences, guide communities in capacity-building, foster learning for advocacy and action, as well as conduct research regarding the teaching and learning of adults in these settings and beyond.We offer the following degrees:


Related Academic Programs:

Many students in Adult Education opt to pursue a minor or dual-title degree in Comparative and International Education (CI ED), the largest CI ED program in the country. The CI ED dual-title degree is available for both master’s and doctoral students.

Courses for adult learners are offered in the evening at many Penn State Continuing Education locations across the state. For further information, please visit

If you have any questions please contact one of our Administrative Assistants.

(University Park)
Administrative Assistant
Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
301 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-2596


*Rachal, J.R. & David, W.W.V. (2005, May).  Institutional and individual publication productivity in selected adult education journals, 1993-2002.  The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 19(1), 1-20.