Midland University - Fremont, Ne

Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning

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Midland University's Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning program is designed for individuals currently working with, or wanting to work with, adult learners in a variety of individual and collective learning environments. Using a constructivist approach to building knowledge and capacity, faculty and learners develop and enhance instructional/program design, facilitation, assessment/evaluation, and research skills in a collaborative and professional environment.

Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning graduates will be prepared to:

  • Identify individual adult and organizational learning needs in communities and organizations
  • Incorporate current research and trend knowledge to strengthen leadership and decision making skills
  • Employ ethical decision-making and sensitivity to diverse learning populations and contexts
  • Facilitate adult and organizational learning opportunities using face-to-face and online teaching and learning methods
  • Plan, deliver, and assess adult and organizational learning programs 
  • Evaluate and produce educational research using sound research principles and methodologies

The first step in applying to Midland University is the online application. Here, you will start to tell us more about your background, and you will create a login to upload all your supporting documents and see your admissions status at any point.

Online Application
MS- AOL pplicants should complete the graduate application.

You will begin by creating an account and verifying it via email. The online application will then ask for your contact information, details about your employment and academic history, and two references (one must be an academic reference). Once you have submitted this information, you’ll be asked to upload the personal statement described below and transcripts from your previous institutions.

Once all of the above are received, you will interview with the director of the program, Dr. Jamie Simpson, either virtually or in-person.

Please reach out to your advisor or to with any questions.

Personal Statement

Applicants should submit a personal statement to help us get to know you and understand why you are interested in earning your Master of Science at Midland, focusing on your graduate degree.  It should address the topics below in approximately two pages.

  • Why are you interested in pursuing a Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning degree? How will a MS-AOL degree help advance your personal and professional interests? 
  • What personal and professional attributes make you a strong candidate for this academic program?
  • How will other MS-AOL students benefit from your background, experiences and values? 


Required Core (18 credits):

AOL 540 Leadership in Adult & Organizational Learning
AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning
AOL 542 Diverse Learning Contexts
AOL 543 Learning in Organizations
AOL 641 Facilitating Adult and Organizational Learning

AOL 644 Program Design, Administration, and Evaluation

Required Research Core (9 Credits): 

AOL 511 Understanding Educational Research
AOL 611 Developing Educational Research

AOL 691 Producing Educational Research

Concentration/Emphasis Possibilities:

Coaching and Mentoring 

AOL 642 Building Individual Learning Capacity

AOL 645 Coaching and Mentoring in Learning Environments

Training and Development 

AOL 643 Workforce Engagement

AOL 646 Continuing Education and Professional Development 

Adult Education 

AOL 544 Cultural Foundations of Adult Learning

AOL 649 Instructional Design and Technology

Course descriptions

Required Core (18 credits):

AOL 540 Leadership in Audlt and Organizational Learning:  As leadership is at the very heart of Midland University’s Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning program, students will take this course to explore:  1.) their own strengths as indicated by the StrengthsFinder®  assessment, and 2.) how to best utilize these strengths in both an individual and organizational leadership role. AOL 540 will introduce a variety of models and theories of leadership that are applicable to a variety of educational settings. Student will also develop their own personal leadership philosophy statement regarding adult and organizational learning.

AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning: Due to a variety of complex forces, adult learning occurs very differently than does learning as a child.  Students in this course will be introduced to the foundational theories and theorists of adult learning as well as an overview of the historical development of adult learning as a professional field. NOTE:  AOL 541 is a prerequisite for most Adult and Organizational Learning courses, except AOL 511, AOL 540, AOL 542, AOL 543, AOL 544, AOL 611, and AOL 691.  

AOL 542 Diverse Learning Contexts: This course explores the multi-faceted ways that diversity impacts educational practices.  Students enrolled in AOL 542 will gain an understanding of the many ways that diversity intersects with adult learner needs in multicultural, multilingual, special needs, gifted and talented, at-risk, gendered, and socio-economic classrooms, communities, and organizations.  

AOL 543 Learning in Organizations: Successful leadership in adult and organizational learning is connected to knowing one's own strengths and identifying the strengths of other in order to accomplish a given task. This course introduces students to the dynamic world of organizational structure, relations, behavior, and learning contexts. Students will gain a better understanding of the constituents involved with learning in organizational contexts as well as identifying aspects of team composition necessary to accomplish complex and multi-faceted learning tasks within these environments. Insights into an organization's capacity to learn, and capacity to influence the organizational learning process, will also be explored.

AOL 641 Facilitating Adult and Organizational Learning: Teaching adults is not like teaching children.  Adults learn differently and so the methods used to teach adults must also be different. Students taking this course will explore a variety of teaching and facilitation philosophies and methods that reach adult learners in many different settings. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning

AOL 644 Program Design, Administration, and Evaluation: AOL 644 prepares students to design, administer, and evaluate learning programs at both the individual and organizational level. Topics covered in this course include collaborating with stakeholders, effectively planning and administering programs, and using The Program Evaluation Standards to assess and evaluate the success of learning programs. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning

Required Research Core (9 Credits):  

AOL 511 Understanding Educational Research: This course, the first in the research core, is designed to provide an introduction to the research process, in particular, processes and methods most germane to educational research. Emphasis is placed on providing students with a strong foundation for evaluating, developing, and producing research. Through readings, discussion, and application/ evaluation exercises, students will identify and explore issues educational researchers face as well as begin to develop their own research interests and questions. NOTE:  AOL 511 is a pre-requisite course to AOL 611 and AOL 691. 

AOL 611 Developing Educational Research: AOL 611 guides students through the beginning stages of developing their culminating research projects/theses.  Work on the culminating research project/thesis includes conducting a literature review, crafting a research proposal, outlining research questions, and determining appropriate research methodology.  As part of this course, students will also choose a three-person research advisory committee to guide their research projects.  AOL 511 is a prerequisite for this course.

AOL 691 Producing Educational Research: AOL 691 guides students through the final stages of their culminating research/thesis projects.  Work on the culminating research projects includes conducting original research as outlined by the approved research proposal to include: gathering and analyzing data, writing up the final results, and presenting the project to both internal and external audiences as appropriate and approved by the student’s research advisory committee.  AOL 511 is a prerequisite for this course.

Concentration/Emphasis (6 credits):

Students will form an area of concentration by choosing 6 credits from the areas below:

  1. Any M.S. courses not included in the core requirements
  2. Any graduate level courses at Midland University ; external graduate level courses must be approved in advance for transfer in to the degree.  
  3. A graduate level independent study course with outcomes to be determined jointly between the student and the Program Director.  
  4. Courses that carry, at minimum, the UG/G designation (Typically a 400 level or above course). 

NOTE:  All elective choices must be approved by the Program Director and be relevant to student’s course of study.  At least 3 of the 6 credits must be at the 500 level or above.  

Additional Adult and Organizational Learning elective courses include:

AOL 544 Cultural Foundations of Adult Education: This elective course examines the philosophical, sociological, and cultural foundations of adult education and learning opportunities in local, national, and global contexts.  Students will explore how adult education opportunities have evolved to meet a particular community’s needs as well as compare and contrast the varying benefits and challenges.  

AOL 591 Special Topics in Education: AOL 591 is a variable credit course that allows for group exploration of topics not regularly covered by the core curricula in any of the Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning options.  Topics and credit hours for AOL 591 are determined by request and interest; final topics, prerequisites, and credits offered must be approved by the Program Director.  

AOL 599 Independent Study: AOL 599 is a variable credit course that allows for individual exploration of topics not regularly covered by the core curricula in any of the Master of Science- Leadership in Adult and Organizational Learning options.  Topics and credit hours for AOL 599 are determined by request and interest; final topics, prerequisites, and credits offered must be approved by the Program Director(s).  

AOL 642 Building Individual Learning Capacity: While many formal adult learning opportunities occur within a group setting, many informal adult learning opportunities are based in a one-to-one relationship between learner and facilitator.  AOL 642 explores the interpersonal dynamics that impact the learner-facilitator relationship.  Students enrolled in this course will examine the structure and outcomes of individual adult learning opportunities through communication, education, and psychological concepts. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning

AOL 643 Workforce Preparation and Engagement: A prepared and engaged workforce provides many positive contributions to a community.  However, some adults are either not well prepared to enter the workforce or struggle to meet workplace expectations.  Using adult and organizational learning lenses, AOL 643 examines barriers to successful workforce entry and engagement, as well as strengths-based and educational strategies to overcome those barriers. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning

AOL 645 Coaching and Mentoring in Learning Environments: Students enrolled in AOL 645 will gain a better understanding of how to coach and mentor adults to learn more effectively and grow professionally.  The impact of personality, psychology and group dynamics on teaching and learning as well as different theories of coaching and mentoring will be explored in depth. Students will identify their own coaching and mentoring philosophy and style as well as how to adapt that philosophy and style to a variety of learning environments. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning.

AOL 646 Continuing Education and Professional Development: Most organizations and professions expect that those who work for, or belong to, them will participate in continuous professional development.  This course presents both theoretical foundations and practical implications for working with continuing education and professional development programs across the professions and in a variety of settings. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning.

AOL 649 Instructional Design and Technology: This course will examine the current trends, influences, and expectations for the development, implementation, and assessment of curriculum. Consideration is given to negotiating between the sometimes competing interests of standards, assessments, skills currency, technology, multiple feedback sources, and media selection. Students will also have multiple opportunities to analyze educational resources, understand instructional design processes, and explore technological options for learning including social media. Pre-req:  AOL 541 Foundations of Adult Learning

Costs & Aid
Costs & Aid

Midland University understands that the decision to earn your Master of Science degree represents a serious investment of time and money. The programs offered provide invaluable experience and is an investment that will quickly repay itself. 

Our admissions and financial aid counselors are here to help make going back to school as painless and affordable as possible. We encourage you to contact us for more information about resources that are available to you at or 402-941-6519.

Student Loans

Graduate students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may qualify for Federal subsidized and un-subsidized student loans. All students interested in applying for student loans should complete the FAFSA and enter Midland's Title IV Code: 002553. The application can be found here. For a paper copy, call 800-4FED-AID to request one to be mailed to you.


Click here for tuition and fees

Additional costs not included in Tuition and fees:

  • Books and course materials
  • Personal computer (Microsoft Office Student Edition will be made available to all students)
  • Fees associated with application and/or testing for a certification
Map & Directions
Map & Directions

Classes for Midland's Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning may be held at either our Fremont Campus or our Omaha location at 11213 Davenport St., Suite 100.

Fremont Campus

Omaha location

Adjunct MS AOL Instructor
Email Address: 
madsen [at]
Phone Number: 
Adjunct MS AOL Instructor
Email Address: 
Mathews [at]
Phone Number: 
Adjunct MS AOL Instructor
Email Address: 
schinzel [at]
Phone Number: 
Adjunct MS AOL Instructor
Email Address: 
stark [at]
Phone Number: 
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Get info