Academic programs
Online adult literacy certification courses

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The following six courses make up the coursework for the online adult literacy certification program. All courses are only available online, and are offered sequentially using the Blackboard online platform.

Course descriptions

ADLT 601 – The Adult Learner
This course provides a comprehensive overview of learning in adulthood, beginning with the historical development of the field and its philosophical underpinnings. Numerous theoretical perspectives of adult learning are examined, including behavioral, cognitive, humanist, social and constructivist, as well as critical theories as applied to feminism, social justice and emancipatory learning. The psychological, social and physical attributes of adult development are addressed, as well as how adults learn across their lifespan.

ADLT 614 – Curriculum Development for Adult Educators
This course is designed to provide an overview of research and practice related to effective curriculum design. The course introduces models of program planning, management and evaluation appropriate for a variety of adult learners including those requiring accommodations for disability, literacy, non-native English speaking ability and multicultural backgrounds. Students can be expected to gain an appreciation for alternative voices and some practical ways of going about the business of program planning, management and evaluation. Participants will be introduced to these techniques through readings from various websites, online documents and the required textbook, which can be purchased through online vendors.

READ 602 – Teaching Literacy to Adults
Course participants will design and conduct a multi-dimensional assessment protocol. Drawing on this experience and on a range of primary source writings, the participants will reflect critically on advantages, disadvantages and general applicability of major learning stances (especially positivism and social-constructivism) and approaches to adult literacy. Educators will be able to articulate the attributes of a range of instructional models, programs and materials, and to select, adopt or design them prudently, based on the needs, strengths and interests of their learners.

ADLT 607 – Writing Instruction for Adult Learners
This course is designed to provide an overview of the practices, research and application of instructional techniques for effectively working with adult learners in the writing classroom. Participants will be introduced to these techniques through readings from various websites, online documents and the required textbook, which can be purchased through online vendors.

ADLT 608 – Adult Education Practicum
The practicum is a capstone experience for adult literacy certification seekers. The field-based practicum is an integral component of the professional preparation of adult education educators. The practicum is offered as a dual-track course:

  • Track A – Endorsement seekers: Participants in possession of a Virginia State Teaching License who are seeking an adult education endorsement are required to complete 40 hours of field-based instruction, including three teaching observations from a site-based field supervisor who provides signed approval. The field-based experience is conducted under the guidance of an adult education adviser at the VCU School of Education. Track A will focus on weekly discussion posts on their teaching and will draw on the reading for supportive insights. Track A participants will also complete a final project as a component of their endorsement requirements.
  • Track B – Certification only: For those not seeking an endorsement, 10 to 15 hours of field experience is required, but field supervision is not. Those on Track B will focus their weekly discussions on the assigned reading and will draw on their direct teaching experience in a supportive, complementary way. Track B participants will complete either a final project or a final paper.

(NEW) TEDU 681 – Investigations and Trends in Teaching: Numeracy Instruction for Adult Learners
This course explores the theory and practice of numeracy instruction for adult students preparing for college or career. Designed to help increase confidence and comfort with mathematical concepts and with interactive strategies for instruction, it is based on scholarship from the mathematics education community and insight into adults learning mathematics from both the U.S. and abroad. Participants will include all aspects of mathematical proficiency (conceptual understanding, strategic problem solving, adaptive reasoning, procedural fluency and a productive disposition) into classroom activities submitted as projects.

ADLT 601 – The Adult Learner
This course provides a comprehensive overview of learning in adulthood, beginning with the historical development of the field and its philosophical underpinnings. Numerous theoretical perspectives of adult learning are examined, including behavioral, cognitive, humanist, social and constructivist, as well as critical theories as applied to feminism, social justice and emancipatory learning. The psychological, social and physical attributes of adult development are addressed, as well as how adults learn across their lifespan.

Registration information

For more information, including how to register, please visit our online adult literacy certification program page.

Contact us

For further information, please contact:
Joanne Huebner
Assistant manager, VALRC
Phone: (804) 828-7537
Email: huebnerjm@vcu.edu

Dr. William R. Muth
Program coordinator and associate professor, adult and adolescent literacy at VCU
Phone: (804) 828-8768
Email: wrmuth@vcu.edu