Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Join or Create a Guest Account
Malcolm Knowles Award
Share |

For Outstanding Adult Education Program Leadership

Malcolm Knowles has been a major influence in the practice of adult and continuing education. In his name, this award recognizes teams or individuals for outstanding leadership to programs, in accordance with andragogical processes, that demonstrate particular effectiveness, relevancy, creativity, immediacy, institutional cooperation or collaboration and legislative impact. Click here for Malcolm Knowles' obituary (New York Times). 


This award was established in the name of Malcolm S. Knowles for his distinguished contribution to theory and practice in the field of adult education from 1935 onward. A hallmark of "Malcolm's" work has been his popularization of the theory of andragogy — the art and science of helping adults learn — in the USA and the spread of its influence around the world. This award is intended to give recognition to an adult education program, including the personnel responsible for carrying out the program, in accordance with the andragogical process.


  • To be eligible, the program needs to have been carried out and conducted within the past two years with adult learners. The program needs to:
    • Be one completed cycle of events or series of events.
    • Outline how the program demonstrates the elements of an andragogical process.
    • Identify the program title.
    • List the institution(s) and person(s) involved.
    • Indicate the results accomplished.
  • Elements of an andragogy process of program development include:
    • Learning climate that is relaxed, trusting, mutually respectful, informal, warm, collaborative, and supportive.
    • Learning mutually planned by learners, participants, and facilitators.
    • Diagnosis of learning needs done by mutual assessment of learners and facilitators.
    • Setting of objectives accomplished by mutual negotiation between learners and facilitators.
    • Designing learning plans sequenced by readiness through learning projects and learning contracts.
    • Learning activities through experiential techniques, inquiry projects, independent study.
    • Evaluation by learner-collected evidence validated by peers, experts, and facilitators, which is also criterion referenced.


  • The 2020 award deadline for nominations was June 5, 2020.  2021 nominations will be open March 1, 2021.
  • Nominations for the award include documentation describing how each of the elements of an andragogy process were fulfilled in the program. Exhibits of program materials may also be included.

Selection Process

  • The selection committee of three to five AAACE members will be appointed by the National Awards Committee. This committee will be responsible for:
    • Making certain the award description and criteria are printed and distributed to the membership through Online newsletter.
    • Evaluating the applications submitted for consideration in accordance with the andragogical program development process and the criteria listed above.
    • Selecting the winner(s) of the award. The appointed awards committee will complete the review and selection process by August 30, 2020.



    • 2019 - SpecialtyCare Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Training Program - Julie Trott, MS CMNIM G Cert Ed
    • 2018 - Georgia Tech Professional Education, The Veterans Education Training and Transition Program (VET) - Kenya M. Harrison, Tony Q. Graddick, Dr. James R. Wilburn
    • 2017 - Texas State University, Department of Occupational Workforce and Leadership (OWLS), Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) Program - Dr. Carrie J. Boden and Dr. Catherine A, Cherrstrom
    • 2016 - M.S.Ed. in Adult Education in the Department of Instructional Systems Technology, School of Education, Indiana University at Bloomington, Dr. Frank Di Silvestro and Dr. Marjorie Treff
    • 2015 - B.S. Degree in Adult and Career Education, Indiana State University, Dr. Steve McCaskey and Dr. Cindy Crowder
    • 2014 -  Reach Higher Completion Program, University of Central Oklahoma, Nominated by Lori M. Risley, Ed. D., University of Central Oklahoma, and Kristi Archuleta, Ed. D., University of Central Oklahoma.
    • 2013 - The Degree Completion Program B.S., Organizational Leadership and Learning, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
    • 2012 - The 49er Finish Program, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina
    • 2011 – No Award
    • 2010 – Brigade Command Team Spouse Development Program, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
    • 2009 – The Apprentice School, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News, for Outstanding Adult Education Program of the Year, Newport News, VA
    • 2008 - Institute for Career Development United Steelworkers Participating Companies, Merrillville, IN
    • 2007 - True Course Ministries, Inc. T 506 Dal Paso Drive Robinson, TX 76706. J. Michael Godfrey, D.Min, Ph.D.,Executive Director
    • 2006 - No Award
    • 2005 - No Award
    • 2004 - Program in Adult Education and Human Resources Development, University of Missouri, St. Louis, John Henschke, Ed.D.
    • 1995 - University of Oklahoma, Kellogg Continuing Education Center, Thurmond White, Ph.D., Norman, OK

Please click here for AAACE's Statement on Copyright