Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

Education Leadership & Counseling

First Advisor

Paul Bylsma

Academic Year



Career and technical education or skilled trades training is a sought-after path to a new career or career advancement for the non-traditional student/adult learner (Bellare et al., 2023). However, studies have shown that adult students do not feel that their institutions understand their needs as adult learners and feel a lack of support (e.g., van Rhijn et al., 2023). Many adult learners have commitments that are more pressing than their education, therefore, adult learners may choose to go to trade school to gain a skill fast and earn a sustainable wage (Bellare et al., 2023). Further, although most teachers of adults in skilled trades are typically educated or certified in their field of study and have a passion to share this knowledge with those they teach (Burns et al., 2005), skilled trade instructors do not have a foundational understanding of how adults learn and adult students’ unique needs (Williams et al., 2018). This project examines adult learners’ needs and profiles adult skilled trade instructors. Utilizing adult learning theories such as, andragogy and VARK learning theory, this project creates short and quick learning modules for adult skilled trade instructors who teach in post-secondary institutions specifically in skilled trades. Adult educators would benefit by engaging with these modules as formal supports to help them be more effective teachers of adults in their skilled trades classrooms (Blake et al., 2023).

Available for download on Monday, December 16, 2024