The University of Houston-Victoria recently awarded its first master’s-level certificate in adult and higher education to Holly Heinsohn, an adjunct history instructor at The Victoria College and adjunct education instructor at UHV.
“There’s been an increase in the number of older students in the class I’m teaching,” Heinsohn said. “The certificate program offered the opportunity for me to broaden my ability to relate to those students and look at the theory and practice of how nontraditional students learn differently from their younger counterparts.”
The certificate, offered through the UHV School of Education & Human Development, is designed for those who teach adult learners in the classroom or workplace. It requires the completion of 15 credit hours and an internship.
“The simple fact is that we learn differently as we become more experienced in life,” said Mary Natividad, interim dean of the school. “And in our world where new knowledge is created faster than at any point in our history, we all have to be lifelong students.”
Heinsohn has been able to incorporate much of what she learned into her classroom.
“Adult learners bring with them a greater amount of practical application for some of the content material that we teach,” she said. Her training helps her incorporate that experience into the classroom environment. “All the students benefit.”
Additionally, many adult learners weren’t formally taught critical thinking skills now taught in college classes. They picked them up through life experience. This can lead them to take different approaches to tasks that help broaden the learning experience for all the students.
“UHV has really helped me become a better educator for my continually changing mix of students,” Heinsohn said.
Heinsohn plans to seek her doctorate in the same field.
For more information about the certificate program, contact Diane Prince, program coordinator and UHV professor, at 361-570-4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org