This page addresses some frequently asked questions about the Adult Education & Community Development program. For questions related specifically to application requirements, visit the Registrar's Office.

If you have specific inquiries that are not addressed on this page, e-mail your question to the Graduate Programs Coordinator. 

General Inquiries

AECD Faculty

Leadership, Higher & Adult Education Department
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
7th Floor, 252 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario 
M5S 1V6

AECD Administrative Staff

Leadership, Higher & Adult Education Department
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
6th Floor, 252 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario 
M5S 1V6

Something brief about your background; a carefully constructed (and referenced) statement of your scholarly focus/goals and core books/researchers that orient you in this; how this relates to faculty/courses; a brief statement on your planned timeline to completion.

A strong academic background; a strong experiential background related to your scholarly focus/goals; clear and well-written answers to faculty admissions questions; evidence of scholarly writing ability (a writing sample); and strong evidence of your abilities based on referees.

There are a number of courses that directly deal with activism learning that you can take. These include but are not limited to: Introduction to Community Development; Creative Empowerment Work with the Disenfranchised; Queer Interventions: Tools for Community Organizing; and Working with Survivors of Trauma. You can also do a thesis in this area.

The Master of Education (MEd) is a professional, non-thesis degree that introduces students to practical applications and theoretical concepts for use in a wide variety of adult learning and community development environments. The Master of Arts (MA) is a thesis-based degree intended for students wishing to engage in a research program or who are pursuing academic careers, some of whom will progress to a doctoral degree.

  • Master of Education (MEd): Ten half-courses
  • Master of Arts (MA): Eight half-courses plus thesis
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Six half-courses plus thesis

Full-time students take two or three half-courses during each of the Fall and Winter sessions.

Part-time students can take one course per session, amounting to up to three half-courses per year.

Full-time versus part-time registration also has fee implications. Students should inquire about these with the Registrar's Office.

Advisors, Supervisors and Thesis

An advisor is a full-time faculty member who is assigned to students when they are admitted. The advisor can help you with your course selection and answer any questions you may have about the academic issues associated with your program of study. If you are in a thesis program, your supervisor is the faculty member whom you have selected to guide you through the process of writing a thesis. The supervisor may or may not be the same person as your advisor.

You will need to be reassigned to another faculty member for advising by the Graduate Program Coordinator. Be sure to notify them and request the reassignment.

You may change advisors if you wish by simply arranging with a full-time faculty member willing to take on the responsibility.  Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator in order for the change to be completed.

A thesis should consist of original work in an area determined by students in collaboration with their supervisors. A booklet outlining thesis guidelines is available on the Registrar's Office website. Students can also consult completed theses in the OISE library.

Your thesis supervisor is responsible to either continue working with you until program completion, or to notify you that you will need to look for a replacement supervisor. Since this is a negotiated role, you will want to have some choice in deciding on the replacement faculty member, and therefore this person cannot simply be assigned administratively.

Additional Opportunities

There are many volunteer and paid positions in research projects carried out in our program. Our faculty's expertise often results in their receiving funding to concentrate their research towards a specific goal or purpose through seminars, conferences, and other projects that require the aid and input of engaged, interested students. Likewise, students can apply to OISE for graduate assistantships (GAs), and can also apply for research funding to agencies like SSHRC and OGS. Students interested in gaining research experience through a particular research project can contact the Principal Investigator or collaborators to ask for voluntary or paid opportunities.

There are several research centres affiliated with the Adult Education & Community Development program. These centres undertake a variety of activities related to research, teaching, professional development and community engagement. Among them are the Comparative and International Development Education Centre and the Centre for Learning, Social Economy and Work. Feel free to visit the centres' websites for information on projects, conferences, workshops, seminars and various other activities held throughout the academic year.

Yes. There are many interdepartmental research areas involving Adult Education and other departments.

Our graduates enter careers in a diverse range of industries, communities, and organizations. Many consider our degrees to be an effective augmentation to existing careers, especially those careers that require the organization and leadership of people in some manner. Here are some of the areas that our graduates have entered into:

  • Political Activism
  • Research
  • Labour education, industrial and labour relations
  • Trauma counselling
  • Educational consultant
  • Social services work
  • Advocacy
  • Human resource development
  • Organization development consulting
  • Workplace equity leadership, consultation
  • Management and leadership development
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Employee ownership, cooperative organizational design
  • Community development
  • Policy analysis
  • Environmental education
  • International development
  • Health education
  • Continuing education
  • Pre-service teacher training
  • Facilitation (individual, group)
  • Arts-informed adult education
  • University or community college instructor

Our programs do not provide the certification required to become an HR professional. However, the program offers a number of courses that are relevant to those interested in human resource development work. Interested individuals may wish to consult our Workplace Learning and Social Change collaborative program