Southern Arkansas University

Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, M.Ed.
at Southern Arkansas University
An SAU M.Ed. is among the most affordable in the nation.

Average Graduate Tuition and Fees Per Year
















*Tuition and fees are calculated as an average of public four-year universities’ published tuition and fees. Source: Department of Education

Our programs are routinely recognized as the best value programs nationally. SAU offers out-of-state tuition waivers to students from Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas who chose to live in university housing or reside in a bordering Texas county or Louisiana parish.

About the Program

M.Ed., Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE)

The program is comprised of 30 required hours. Students must complete 27 hours of coursework with 3 hours of capstone project to complete the M. Ed. program.  A student must also complete any additional college and university graduation requirements.

Required: (6 hours)

EDUC 6003    Education Research
HALE 6343    Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Learning Education Seminar

Required Capstone Project:  (3 hours)
HALE 6373    HALE Capstone Project

Required, select 21 hours from the following:

Students should meet with their advisor to determine which courses align with career goals.
HALE 6233 Distance Learning Design and Administration
HALE 6313    Budgeting and Finance in Postsecondary Education
HALE 6323    Curricular Design & Evaluation in Postsecondary Distance Learning
HALE 6353    Foundations of Distance Learning
HALE 6363    History & Philosophy of Postsecondary Education
HALE 6383    Leadership and Organization Development
HALE 6393    Post-secondary Teaching
HALE 6413    Program Planning and Evaluation in Postsecondary Contexts
HALE 6423    Special Problems in Adult Education
HALE 6433    Survey of Adult Learning
HALE 6443    The College Student
HALE 6453    The Community College
COUN 6843    Introduction to Student Affairs in Higher Education
COUN 6853    Student Affairs Theory and Practice
COUN 6863    The American College Student
COUN 6873    Organization and Administration of Student Affairs Services
ID   6023    Instructional Design Theory & Practice
ID   6063    Issues & Trends in Instructional Design
ID   6043    Instructional Strategies and Tools

Course Descriptions

EDUC 6003.  Educational Research. This course is designed to prepare the educator to be a consumer of educational research as well as how to participate as a producer of new knowledge through the research process. Appropriate research principles and methodologies to enhance teaching, student learning, and school improvement will be emphasized. Fall, spring, summer.

HALE 6233. Distance Learning Design & Administration. Provide a study of design and administration of organization structures, policies, and courses of study for the purpose of providing education to distant learners. Summer.

HALE 6313. Budgeting Foundations of Distance Learning. Provides an overview of the economics and finance of higher education in the United States with an emphasis on the analysis of financial policies and current issues at the institutional, state, and national levels. Summer

HALE 6323. Curricular Design & Evaluation in Postsecondary Distance Learning. Provide a study of instructional design theories and applications needed for distance education course design. Topics include needs analysis, assessment, instructional material design, and evaluation. Summer.

HALE 6343. Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Learning Education Seminar. This course is designed to introduce the prospective HALE educational practitioner to a broad range of issues at the forefront of current educational decision-making.  Special emphasis is placed on analyzing, synthesizing, and critically examining topics that are pertinent to an individual student’s plan of study and career goals. Fall, summer.

HALE 6353. Foundations of Distance Learning. Serves as an introduction to distance education. General themes include the historical, theoretical, and philosophical foundations of distance learning, an overview of distance learning technologies, and an examination of effective techniques for teaching and learning with a distance learning system. Spring.

HALE 6363. History & Philosophy of Postsecondary Education. A study of the historical development of American higher education. The purpose of this course is to review significant changes within the higher education system, focusing on higher educational institutional philosophy, objectives, and functions. The course lays a foundation for understanding higher educational programs, issues, and trends. Fall semester.

HALE 6373. HALE Capstone Project. This course documents the successful completion of a written record of a completed project within the field of HALE. The course also requires a supervised internship. The internship activities provide an authentic experience which contributes to the practice and/or research in the field of higher, adult, or lifelong education. Fall, spring, summer, as needed.

HALE 6383. Leadership & Organization Development. Provides an introduction to the academics of leadership in a postsecondary setting.  Student will examine personal attributes for effective leadership styles, prevalent theories of leadership and leadership development, structure of current organizations and future outlooks of organizational leadership.  Also, time will be spent examining skills, abilities, values that will best equip leaders of future effective educational settings. Fall semester.

HALE 6393. Post-Secondary Teaching. The purpose is to help participants become more effective as instructors in postsecondary education by exploring different conceptions of instruction, characteristics of learners, theories concerning the learning process for adults, instructional design and planning, strategies to encourage active learning, and approaches to assessing learning, improving teaching through assessment and faculty learning and development. Fall semester.

HALE 6413. Program Planning and Evaluation in Postsecondary Contexts. Application of learning from core courses in practical ways to provide solutions to real-world problems within an educational setting. Students examine program purposes, outcomes, planning models, transfer of learning models, budget development and evaluation. The culminating project is the development of an educational program related to the student’s professional goals. The student is encouraged to take this course toward the end of his/her plan of study. Summer.

HALE 6423. Special Problems in Adult Education. Purpose is to provide an opportunity to explore significant works and historical movements in adult education and instructional technology literature to analyze the emergence of adult education in the United States. Provides a broad perspective through selected readings. When possible, the student collects and uses primary information from an adult education/instructional technology setting. As needed.

HALE 6433. Survey of Adult Learning. Provides opportunity for developing a better understanding of learning in adulthood, implications knowledge holds for helping adults learn in postsecondary and other educational settings.  The course is intended to be of practice use for student interested in teaching and learning in adult and other postsecondary education settings and for students interested in administration and leadership, student affairs and advising, and policy in postsecondary education.  Exploration of historical, psychological, and social foundations of adult learning. Spring semester.

HALE 6443. The College Student. A foundational examination of student characteristics, demographics, beliefs, and cultural patterns in North American higher education. Major theories are reviewed that will assist the educational leader in developing policy and programs to maximize learning in the collegiate environment. Spring semester.

HALE 6453. The Community College. Concerns the philosophy, organization, programs and administration of community college including primary responsibility of instructional leaders.  In particular, focus on remedial/developmental education programs, general education, liberal arts transfer curriculum, technical training, and noncredit/contract training programs. Summer.

ID 6023. Instructional Design Theory & Practice.

A study of the instructional development process as it pertains to the design and production of instructional materials which use modern technologies. Goal analysis, objectives, evaluation, instructional strategy development, production of an educational product, and revision of the instructional materials are considered. Fall Semester.

ID 6063. Issues and Trends in Instructional Design and Technology.

Critical challenges posed as a result of the increasing infusion of technology into the school and training environments are explored. The course prepares students to make and defend policy decisions and become conversant with current trends and issues in the field. Summer.

ID 6043. Instructional Strategies and Tools.

Students perform intensive examinations of the role of new instructional strategies and their implications for practice. Emphasis is on identification and evaluation of new tools in instructional environments. Establishing and maintaining learning environments, exploring selected theories and concepts, and utilization of new technologies will occur. Spring semester.

[su_testimonial name=”Lydia Barnhart” company=”Recruitment Coordinator for Texarkana College” photo=”×150.png”]I chose to further my education at Southern Arkansas University because they offered the degree I needed to progress in my career at an affordable cost. The Higher Adult Education Program was the perfect choice in advancing my career because the online structure is designed to conveniently fit into my busy schedule. My professors were wonderful, and I felt that they truly cared about my education. The professors encouraged practical application of the course material to use our personal and professional experiences to enhance our learning process. I appreciated how personable the faculty and staff members were during the enrollment process, and I knew that SAU was the right decision from the very beginning. [/su_testimonial] [su_testimonial name=”Sarah Adcox” photo=”” company=”Director, Mulerider Activity Center/Intramurals, SAU”]When SAU’s School of Graduate Studies added the HALE program, I was very interested and knew that this was a program that would be a good fit for me and what I wanted to do to further my career. I think the HALE program is a well-rounded program and the courses available are challenging and taught by experienced, knowledgeable instructors. I chose SAU for graduate school for a couple of reasons: I received my undergraduate degree here and wanted to further my education but I couldn’t see myself attending anywhere but SAU, and because Dr. Kim Bloss and Melody Mayo were both so incredibly helpful and encouraging throughout my experience with the HALE program.[/su_testimonial] [su_testimonial name=”Mandi Haynes, M.Ed., RT(R) (ARRT)” photo=”” company=”Clinical Coordinator, Radiologic Technology program, South Arkansas Community College”]The HALE program was a perfect fit for me! With its wide array of courses from which to choose, this program allowed me to tailor my graduate education to my unique position as a healthcare educator at the college level. The opportunity to choose coursework which emphasized various aspects of higher education has provided a great benefit to me in my current employment. I’m grateful to have found a program which allows the full utilization of both my undergraduate and graduate fields of study, despite the two being largely unrelated.[/su_testimonial] [su_testimonial name=”Lavana J. Kindle, M.S., M.Ed.” photo=”×150.jpg” company=”Supplemental Instruction Coordinator, SAU”]I am thankful for the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) master’s degree at SAU! I was set for a master’s degree in Curriculum Development, but it just did not seem like the right fit until the HALE option came along. It worked perfectly for me since I am a lifelong learner myself. I just finished my second master’s degree at the age of sixty![/su_testimonial]

Counseling and Professional Studies / College of Education and Human Performance

Hours Required: 30
Categories: Graduate
Completion Time: 2 years *

* Based on 2 classes per semester including summer

SAU’s M. Ed. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) is intended for:

  • individuals seeking or occupying an advance in administrative or management positions in a variety of educational settings;
  • faculty and other educators who seek to improve their adult teaching skills;
  • other individuals who work with adults in a variety businesses or social services agencies.

The M. Ed. HALE degree program includes coursework in foundations, curriculum and teaching (including distance learning), organization and administration, research, and electives so students can create an emphasis area to fit their career aspirations. Students elect either higher education or adult education emphasis area; however, students may elect to take courses in both emphasis areas.

The program is comprised of 30 required hours.  Students must complete 30 hours of coursework to complete the M. Ed. program.  A student must also complete any additional college and university graduation requirements.

Learning Goals

  1. Graduates will write effectively. Graduates will effectively present ideas.
  2. Graduates will seek solutions to educational problems.
  3. Graduates will consider alternative approaches to an educational problem or challenge.
  4. Graduates will synthesize information from many resources. Graduates will successfully use technology to solve an education problem.
  5. Graduates will identify and propose a solution to a HALE problem or challenge.


hale, higher ed, continuing education,

Program Contact

What our students say

About SAU

Southern Arkansas University offers personalized tour visits, faculty and staff who care about student success, and a caring campus community. SAU also offers traditional and unique academic degree programs that are ranked nationally for quality and affordability.

Nestled in a quiet and beautiful part of south Arkansas, SAU is a great place to call home and to study a broad range of academic programs, including some unique offerings to the state and region. Along with boasting a complete college experience on campus, the University is a short drive from outdoor activities and is central to many regional hubs, such as Texarkana, Shreveport, Little Rock, etc.

Established in 1909, SAU has built on its dedication to student achievement and continues to grow, both on campus and online, with more than 80 degrees in four distinct colleges and the School of Graduate Studies.

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100 E. University, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753-5000 Telephone: (870) 235-4000
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