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: your degree can open doors worldwide to successful careers in faculty and administration positions at universities and colleges or to fulfilling leadership and research positions at government and public agencies non-governmental organizations, churches or religious organizations, adult basic education programs, healthcare providers, international organizations, and community-based organizations.

Adnan Qayyum speaks to students in classMore 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.