Online Adult Development Courses

Grow your career with your Bachelor of Arts in Adult Development. Your courses include studies in aging, health and wellness, and cognition.

Introductory Courses *

All Bachelor degree-seeking students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students entering with twenty-four (24) or more transferable, traditional semester credits are required to successfully complete PSY 202 Adult Development and Life Assessment as their first course. PSY 202 is designed to help experienced students acclimate to the online college environment.

Student Success Orientation 

The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learner resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education 

This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

PSY 202 Adult Development & Life Assessment 

This course presents adult development theory and links theoretical concepts of life and learning through a process of psychometric assessment and reflection. Both classical and contemporary adult development theories are examined. These theories then provide the paradigm for self-analysis and life learning, including a plan for personal, professional and academic learning. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

Major Course Requirements

(39 credits, all courses are 3 credits, unless otherwise noted. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
This course is a survey of selected topics in psychology, including research methods, physiological psychology, sensation, perception, consciousness, learning, memory, motivation, gender roles, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, and social psychology.

PSY 307 The Journey of Adulthood
This course presents process-oriented, multi-disciplinary views, principles, research findings, and perspectives across the adulthood continuum: early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. Students gain an understanding of developmental changes occurring in the realms of biology, anatomy, and social and cultural contexts in which aging occurs.

HCS 311 Health & Wellness in Adulthood
This course provides students with a holistic overview of the multi-faceted dimensions of health and wellness in adulthood. Physical, social, intellectual, emotional occupational, spiritual, and environmental elements of health are explored within the context of a wellness lifestyle.

SOC 322 Sociological Aspects of Adulthood
Utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, this course provides an introduction to the field of gerontology and its social implications. Social, psychological, and physical aspects of aging are overviewed as well as an exploration of the demographic shift taking place and the meaning and impact of the shift in terms of issues and policies arising from the graying of America. Other course topics include common aging changes/conditions, myths and stereotypes, the effects of health and illness on the individual, family, and society, and the impact of media, culture, and gender influences on aging.

EDU 362 Adult Learning & Instruction
Students will learn about the various theories and practices associated with adult learning. Various modalities of instruction will be addressed including e-learning, accelerated courses, and training sessions.

EDU 334 Adult Learning in the Workplace
Students will be introduced to the various learning needs of adults from a generational perspective. Strategies and ideas for the development of training and instruction to address the needs of learners for present generations as well as learners from diverse backgrounds and cultures will be reviewed. The role of needs assessment to inform design and formative evaluation to measure instructional effectiveness will be addressed in this course.

SOC 326 Diversity & Aging
This course explores the diversity perspectives of culture, ethnicity, economic status, national origin, disability, gender, and sexual identity as related to aging. Emphasis is placed on the ethnic perspectives of aging across cultures.

PSY 323 Perception, Learning, & Cognition
Students will study research and theory about mental processes that go between experience and the human mind. Students will gather and interpret data for several simple experiments that demonstrate classic research findings in perception, learning, and cognition. Perception entails the mental processes involved in the organization and interpretation of sensory experience. Learning entails relatively permanent changes in behavior that result from experience. Cognition explains how the mind processes information, how we encode, store, and retrieve memories, and how we use information to form beliefs, make decisions, and solve problems.

PSY 317 Cognitive Function in the Elderly
This course explores cognitive functioning in later life including biological, socioeconomic, environmental, cognitive adaptation, and life history factors influencing cognitive function as an individual progresses along a developmental continuum. The major psychological constructs of self concept, socialization, and thinking processes are presented. Etiology, interventions, education, and support systems are discussed.

EDU 352 Foundations of Educational Technology
Strategies and ideas for the use of technology to enhance learning will be explored in this course. The latest in Web applications will be explored and evaluated for their instructional application.

PSY 344 Issues & Trends in Adult Development
This course provides an interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary issues and trends in adult development as well as emerging research areas. Topics include intergenerational conflicts, changing role dynamics, volunteerism, self-esteem in adulthood, resilience and vulnerability, maintaining and enhancing cognitive vitality in adulthood, adult employment trends including multiple career changes, coping with "boomerang children," grandparents raising grandchildren, and the growth of lifelong learning.

PSY 326 Research Methods
Research Methods is an introduction to the foundations of research methodology, design and analysis. Basic principles of qualitative and quantitative research are explored and evaluated. Understanding the results of statistical analysis as it applies to research is a focus of this curriculum.

PSY 495 Adult Development Capstone
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of adult development A substantive paper is developed which requires students to critically analyze their experiences and integrate knowledge gained throughout the program.

You may also choose to delve deeper into other areas of health care when you add a specialization to your degree program. A specialization consists of four (4) courses, each worth three (3) credits each. These courses are taught online as part of your degree program. Choose the following specialization:

Health Care Informatics Systems

HCA 401 Introduction to Health Care Informatics
This course provides an overview of health care informatics including basic vocabulary, concepts, technology, uses and practices. The history, background, and development of health care informatics are presented, as well as academic, private, and government influences.

HCA 417 Electronic Health Records
This course begins with an exploration of the evolution of electronic health records (EHRs) and then delves into the current forces driving the adoption of electronic health records. The components of EHR’s are reviewed and the core functionalities of the EHR are examined. Major consideration is given to HIPPA and confidentiality regulatory requirements in terms of EHR management. In addition, the different methods of data capture and recording of data are reviewed, as well as a comparison of contents for an inpatient versus an outpatient EHR.

HCA 419 Current Topics in Informatics
This course examines trends and emerging technologies involved in health care delivery and information systems/technology management within diverse health care settings. Content includes the following health care applications: process improvement and innovation for computerized provider order entry (CPOE), telemedicine, imaging systems, bio-surveillance, genomics, bioinformatics (methods used to process data from biological experiments), robotic surgery, and pharmacogenomics. In addition, ethical and legal considerations and aspects related to the use of computerized technology and information systems in the delivery of health care are reviewed.

HCA 435 Informatics Applications
This course provides a broad overview of the various components of informatics and the practical usage focusing on administrative and clinical functions across diverse health care and health care delivery settings. Emphasis is given to process improvement, control, and management of health care data. Topics covered include the following: evidence-based medicine, information retrieval, decision support systems, security and confidentiality, bioinformatics, information system cycles, key health information systems and standards, and medical devices.


If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.