Apr 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Educational Administration and Leadership - Adult and Higher Education (M.A.) LERN

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Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership with Adult & Higher Education emphasis is a distinctive master’s degree that combines the academic, theoretical and research findings of adult and continuing education with the practical application of the responsibilities and duties of adult and continuing education administrators. This one-of-a-kind degree program is made possible through a collaboration with the University of South Dakota and the Learning Resources Network (LERN). The convenience and flexibility of this 33 credit-hour program allows participants to gain up to 15 credit hours of practical knowledge through the LERN professional development institutes and online courses. The curriculum and faculty for select LERN institutes and courses are approved for USD credits in advance. As a result, university credit from the LERN experiences transfers seamlessly toward the master’s degree. The remaining courses are completed online through the University of South Dakota. LERN participants residing anywhere in the world have access to this unique program. The USD School of Education has been accredited by CAEP (formerly NCATE) since 1956. Learn more at usd.edu/online-eal-lern.


Master of Arts, Adult & Higher Education LERN, Plan B (non-thesis): Total 33 credit hours

LERN Required Courses - 15 cr

LERN course descriptions and registration found at www.usd.edu/online-eal-lern/courses.

Choose from the following (11 cr required)


  • If students expect LERN courses to apply to the USD M.A. Educational Administration and Leadership - Adult and Higher Education degree, they must apply for full admission to the Graduate School prior to enrollment in the 10th credit hour.
  • Beginning July 2017, only USD/LERN courses carrying the AHED prefix will be accepted in the student’s program of study for the degree.

Learning Resources Network (LERN)

Learning Resources Network (LERN) is the world’s largest association in continuing education and lifelong learning, offering information and consulting expertise to providers of continuing education and customized training. Founded in 1974, LERN serves more than 9,000 professionals every year. Learn more at lern.org.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit: catalog.usd.edu.

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Division of Educational Leadership
605-658-6614 | edad@usd.edu | usd.edu/edleadership

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad

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