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Learning Portfolio for
Master of Science in Educational Human Resource Development
with an Emphasis in Adult Education

Texas A&M University

Department of Educational Human Resources


I'm grateful for this journey through Educational Human Resource Development with an emphasis in Adult Education. I currently serve as the lead pastor of a church in the Sugar Land, TX area. I entered this program because I want to become better at being a catalyst for positive change in people and communities. 

This portfolio is a summary of my journey where I will document what I have learned and what I have left as a contribution. 




Fall 2019 - Fall 2021

These are courses completed (by end of 2021) in fulfillment of MS in Educational Human Resources with an Emphasis in Adult Learning at Texas A&M, College Station. Links are provide to course reflections.​

  • EHRD 605
    Principles & Practices of
    Leadership in Human Resource Development

  • EHRD 616
    Methods of Teaching Adults

  • EHRD 618
    Evaluation Methods in HRD

  • EHRD 624
    Change Theory

  • EHRD 625
    Organizational Development

  • EHRD 627
    Research and Development in HRD

  • EHRD 630
    Adult Learning

  • EHRD 631 
    Foundations of Adult Learning

  • EHRD 642
    Program Development in Adult Education

  • EHRD 643
    Adult Education, Globalization, & Social Inclusion

  • EHRD 647
    Education for Older Adults

  • EHRD 681
    Master's Capstone Portfolio

  • EHRD 690
    Theory of EHRD Research
    (Stat I: Introduction to Statistics)



I began working on my MS in Educational Human Resources with an Emphasis in Adult Learning in the Fall of 2019. My program journey has progressed along three main pathways: Adult Learning as a pathway for addressing inequality and societal transformation, Human Resource methodology for organizational development and change, and pragmatic methodologies for the implementation of adult learning.



When I first explored the possibility of enrolling in the Adult Learning program at Texas A&M, I drove to College Station to meet with Dr. Lisa Baumgartner. Given that my background was in church leadership, I was unsure if my experience and goals were a good fit for the program. After completing a Master of Divinity in 2015, I felt that understanding adult learning (particularly, transformational learning) was a missing component of an already bloated 96-hour degree program. I had obtained a few certifications through the Association for Talent and Development (ATD) such as Introduction to Instructional Design and a Training Certificate. But as I looked over the EHRD program description, I didn’t understand the connection between adult learning and social justice. After hearing Dr. Baumgartner’s explanation of the history of adult learning, its roots in justice, equality, and adult basic education, and her commitment to avoid relegating adult learning to corporate aims and human capital development, I felt a deep resonance with my own mission in life.

EHRD 630 – Adult Learning, EHRD 631 – Foundation of Adult Education, and EHRD 643 - Adult Education, Globalization, & Social Inclusion fueled the development of these ideas. For instance, EHRD 630 provides an introduction to “Critical Theory, Postmodern, and Feminist Perspectives” (Merriam et al., 2012). Ray & Gibbons (2021) point out how issues such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) have been misrepresented by antagonistic news outlets. Understanding the CRT apart from political partisanship involves responsible scholarship and willingness to understand core issues.  Merriam et al. (2012) note that “race not only permeates the workplace but all other aspects of our society as well, including adult educational practice” (p. 256).

EHRD 631 explores these issues within an historical context around the development of adult learning. The following is an excerpt from my Final Summary Portfolio Paper submitted for EHRD 631 – Foundations of Adult Education:

I’m drawn to issues of epistemology and ontology. That is, I’m most interested in the topics about how we know and who we are as “knowers.”

In addition, I have been very compelled by the social justice elements of adult learning documented throughout our reading. When I began the Adult Learning graduate program, I was approaching the topic from an almost exclusively theoretical perspective regarding how we know and learn (see epistemology reference above). However, I found a deep resonance with the historical perspective and connections with social justice. This resonance is connected to my work in a religious institution committed to issues of race, gender, and class. 
Because of the observations above, the social justice connection with adult learning will likely drive my future endeavors. While I was hoping to learn methodology, I have been challenged to broaden the scope of my work in educating adults. I have already begun to look for partnerships in Fort Bend County for adult literacy and ESL programs. I believe I have a motivated volunteer base that could be leveraged toward making an impact in our city and county.
Critical theory will likely influence how I process my adult education initiatives as well. I have been deeply aware of issues of privilege and marginalization but feel a more profound commitment to exploring these more broadly in our education initiatives. How a middle-aged white male pastor can meaningful embrace elements of critical theory in a conservative suburban context, remain both an ideological and pragmatic challenge. 
I don’t believe the methodological itch has been fully scratched yet. I am fully aware that this is not the scope of this course. However, the foundational principles presented in our reading and discussion, beg specific follow-up questions. How do we do this? How do we fund this? How do we effectively design programs with these philosophical assumptions and systemic societal challenges in view?
Further, I appreciated the historical overview. I would like to explore more deeply the historical developments in the field. This desire is connected to my emerging interest in the philosophy of education. Each philosophical position is intrinsically linked to its historical development. While I found myself sympathetic to a particular philosophical position, I found much of its past connections unpalatable. This will most certainly be part of my pathway to discover what unfolds as part of this graduate program. 


Since writing the above, I have met with the Fort Bend County Judge (KP George) to explore needs in our county. I have led my organization in a partnership with Fort Bend County to provide trained volunteers to aid Fort Bend County residents who need help completing applications for rental assistance available from the county and state. Additionally, I’ve created a platform for online courses for congregants to explore topics such as inequality from a theological framework (more about this below).

EHRD 643 provides a critique of changing global dynamics and the competition between adult learning aims from within a frame of equality and social inclusion versus neo-liberal economic forces that demand human capital development as the utilitarian means and ends for adult learning.



My current work as the senior leader of a church situates me in two organizational structures; my local church and the association of churches of which I am a member and have served on the National Leadership Team. Each of these organizational structures have unique challenges associated with them. COVID-19 has introduced new dynamics that have instigated a need for rapid change. In some ways, the timing of key courses could not have been better. Four courses have been particularly formative in this season: EHRD 605 - Principles & Practices of Leadership in Human Resource Development, EHRD 618 - Evaluation Methods in HRD, EHRD 624 - Change Theory, and EHRD 625 - Organizational Development & Assessment. 

My key takeaway from EHRD 605 is the articulation of a leadership philosophy. The following is an excerpt from my paper:


Idealized Influence: My first two principles are closely related: they both are connected to morality. Drawing on House’s (1976) theory regarding behavior that charismatic leaders demonstrate, Northouse (2018) lists that these leaders model the beliefs and values they would like to see developed in their followers. As a Christian leader, I draw on the teachings of Jesus directed at religious leaders. One of these teachings chastises hypocritical behaviors: “They look beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead bones and all kinds of filth” (Common English Bible, 2011, Matthew 23:27). A central guiding principle for me is that I lead out of authenticity. Northouse (2018) calls this “idealized influence” (p. 170). 

Moral Development: Referencing Burns (1978), Mullah and Krishnan (2011) defend a connection between transformational leadership and moral development. They contend, “A key criterion to this transformation being materialized in the follower is that the transformational leader must be at a slightly higher stage of moral development (Burns, 1978, p. 428)” (Mullah and Krishnan, 2011, p. 130). In high-duration pairs, their research established that transformational leaders might affect the moral development of their followers. I seek to lead in such a way real moral change is produced in my followers.

EHRD 618 - Evaluation Methods in HRD and EHRD 625 - Organizational Development & Assessment each involved group projects that provided real world experience. For the evaluation project, my team worked with the Harris County Library System to evaluate their Red Carpet Training Program. For the organizational development project, my team provided consulting for Texas A&M University System Security Operations Center. Through the knowledge and experience gained through these projects, I was able to contribute to a large-scale reorganization project in my professional association. Additionally, as we work through post-COVID realities, I’ve been able to implement best practices for managing change. Finally, I’ve implemented logic models as a planning and evaluation tool for all the systems under my direction in my organization.



The emphasis of my degree is Adult Learning. Several courses provided useful development of skills needed to foster fruitful adult leaning environments. EHRD 630 - Adult Learning and EHRD 616 - Methods of Teaching Adults provided theoretical frameworks and practical methodologies. Further, EHRD 642 - Program Development in Adult Education provides useful tools for immediate implantation of learning plans. 

One example of immediate implementation is my development of This is a learning platform to be used in my church community using online and hybrid classes. COVID-19 called for creative ways to teach adults. Fall 2021 marked the launch of our first course. I am developing the curriculum for a set of courses that will launch in Spring 2022.


Works Cited

Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Common English Bible. (2011). Common English Bible. 

House, R. J. (1977). A 1976 Theory of Charismatic Leadership. In J. G. Hunt & L. L. Larson (Eds.), Leadership: The cutting edge (pp. 189–207). essay, Southern Illinois University Press. 

Merriam, S. B., Baumgartner, L., & Caffarella, R. S. (2012). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (the jossey-bass higher and adult education series). Wiley. 

Mulla, Z. R., & Krishnan, V. R. (2011). Transformational Leadership. Journal of Human Values, 17(2), 129–143. 

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Interactive: Leadership: theory and practice (8th ed.). SAGE Publications. 

Ray, R., & Gibbons, A. (2021, August 13). Why are states banning critical race theory? Brookings. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from 


The following represents a summary of courses that I completed as part of the EHRD/AE program. These will be presented in the order that I completed the courses.

FALL 2019

EHRD 627 - Research and Development in HRD

This turned out to be a good place to start this program. The aim of the course was “to enhance your understanding of educational research and to improve your ability to comprehend and use research reports” (Dirani, 2019). Highlights of the course were three critiques of peer reviewed research articles and a poster proposal. The critiques set the tone for what would turn out to be an important aspect of most every course throughout the program—reading research. I learned to recognize the main components of research and understand basic concepts regarding statistical language. 


The research poster proposal was an invigorating project. I worked with a fantastic team: Rosemary Capuchino, Warren Lanphier, and June Weston. We were selected to present a poster at AHRD. While we were not able to present since some on our team were graduating and going different directions, it was exciting to be selected. This proved to be a catalytic moment for overcoming my insecurities stepping into the program. 


EHRD 630 - Adult Learning

EHRD 630 provided an overview of topics and issues related to the “multiple dimensions of learning in adulthood” (Alfred, 2019). While I’ve had some basic prior knowledge around many of the key concepts and frameworks for understanding how adult learn, two stood out to me. The first was “transformational learning.” Merriam et al. (2007) define transformational learning as “dramatic, fundamental change in the way we see ourselves and the world in which we live” (p. 130). Mezirow’s ten steps (summarized as four main components in the text) helped me make sense out of some key learning moments in my own life. 


Throughout the COVID-19 season (this course was completed right before the pandemic lockdown began), I have sought ways to foster transformational learning in with those in my educational influence. There were more than ample opportunities for people to experience cognitive dissonance and crisis moments that were fodder for growth. The question would be whether I could help facilitate self-reflection, reflective discourse, and opportunities for action. This is particularly challenging when these components might need to be nurtured in an online environment. This has turned into a potential future research topic. I know Mezirow has been amply researched, but I wonder about how educational technologies (particularly online) might be leveraged to foster transformational learning. The development of community that may create the seedbed for reflect discourse is a particular challenge.


Included here is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation that helped me think through my own life and how different ways of learning have shaped me. In this project I explore an example of transformational learning in my own life.


Another important take-away for me was the introduction to Critical Theory. It was helpful to get exposure to this prior to the controversies that emerged during racial tension in 2020. I develop the important of introduction further in the critical reflection section of this portfolio.



This was a particularly tough segment of my educational journey. At the onset of COVID-19, my job turned from a 40-50 hr a week commitment to around 60 hrs a week. 


EHRD 631 - Foundations of Adult Ed

This course added a bit more historical context to the concepts I was introduced to in EHRD 630. As I mention in the critical reflections segment of this portfolio, prior to exposure to this program, I did not realize the connection between adult education and social justice. The articles we read in this course set the stage for the diversity of issues around adult learning and how industry and the need for human capital began to drive the agenda away from social inclusion. Dr. Glenda L. Rose, the course instructor, brought real world experience in the field of adult basic education. We were introduced to state policies and up to date issues around ABE. 


This course climaxed with the development of a philosophy of education. The process of exploring this was more helpful, in my opinion, than the outcome. That is, as I look back on some of my conclusions at this early stage in the program, I’m not sure I fully agree with them anymore. Even when tasked again with a philosophy of education in EHRD 616, I’m not sure I completely landed in a place where I’m satisfied. I suspect I’ll need to revisit this as I grow more in this field. 


EHRD 642 - Program Development in Adult Education

This was my first course to get practical with principles of adult education. While I had prior experience and training (through ATD), much more theoretical backbone was added to my understanding of methodology. Daffron & Caffarella (2013), provided the model for developing a training program. Following their concepts, an assigned team worked together to develop a training plan for volunteers at Pheobe’s Home, a 24-hour emergency shelter for women founded in 1978.

Attached is a first half reflection demonstrating our methodology and a flyer I created for the program we developed


EHRD 647 - Education for Older Adults

As the leader of a church congregation, I seek to provide meaningful and transformational learning opportunities for a wide variety of ages. This course provided some significant insight into the way older adults learn. Here is a helpful conclusion I documented in one of the papers I submitted for this course:


Further, faith-based organizations need to see their value as extending beyond religious education. This assertion does not undermine the way many church leaders feel is that central role their existence—caring for people spiritually. It does suggest, however, that attention to the needs of our older adults should leverage the spiritual care toward other means of care as well. This is not just a "felt-need" of older adults that they self-identify, but also constitutes a research-driven observation about how older adults age successfully.


FALL 2020

EHRD 624  - Change Theory

This was a very practical course that moved beyond theory into exposure to tools that could be leveraged to lead change effectively. I took particular interest in the PESTLE analysis tool. My project partner and I used the PESTLE model to evaluate the challenges facing AMC Theaters as a result of COVID distruptions. Since AMC’s response and continuing challenges continue to emerge in the news, it has been interesting to weigh our assessment across the real world unfolding of time. 


Attached is our PESTLE assessment (Waggoner, Hirsch)

I've also included a personal reflection on change:


EHRD 605 - Principles & Practices of Leadership in Human Resource Development

As I mention in the “critical reflections” section in this portfolio, this course came at a good time. I was feeling the strain of COVID related challenges in my work environment. Thinking through leadership models helped me shape a strategy for leading my congregation. The series of leadership questionnaires provided in the Northouse (2018) material provided a good tool for personal assessment. 


Of particular interest to me where the principles of “Adaptive Leadership” proposed by Heifetz (2009). In the face of COVID realities and challenges, leaders need to practice strategic flexibility:


ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP TAKES you out of your daily routine into unknown territory, requiring ways of acting that are outside your repertoire, with no guarantee of your competence or your success. It puts you at risk because you cannot rely on the tried-and-true expertise and know-how you use for tackling technical problems. And as a consequence, you cannot take on an adaptive challenge without making some changes, some adaptations, yourself. (Heifetz, p. 259).


I felt a freedom to experiment (a characteristic of adaptive leadership) as I stepped into the uncertainty. I was able to communicate with my core leadership team that we would be experimenting, and failure was a possibility. We would learn from it and find a way forward, unafraid to abandon old ways of doing things. I believe this approach is paying off in the present.


EHRD 616 - Methods of Teaching Adults

This class probably most closely represents my preconceptions about learning about teaching adults. This class is a practical exploration of methodologies to be utilized in adult learning environments to create high levels of engagement and effectiveness.


While the course content was useful, the challenges of online learning were not addressed, thus limiting the immediate opportunities to try some of these out. However, the content did lead to further exploration around how to implement practices by adapting them to online environments. 


Since this course, I have developed an e-learning website for congregants, While this site is still in the mid stages of development, I’ve run a few courses and have had decent participation and outcomes. The concepts of engagement that drive classroom methodology still apply to the online world. Fortunately, there are ample resources available to had to translate these ideas in platforms like LearnDash (the WordPress platform that is built on). 


EHRD 625 - Organizational Development & Assessment

This was one of the dark-horse courses for me. That is, I was not initially all that interested in the topic but came out hungry to know more and explore possibilities around ongoing participation in the practice of organizational development. Broad exposure to a range of interventions to leverage to help organizations make changes was fundamental to this course. 


My project group worked with a client to assess organizational needs and propose an appropriate intervention to help build employee engagement.  Because of the nature of the company’s work, I’ll avoid much disclosure about our evaluation. However, below is a contribution I made to visualizing data obtained from a Likert scale survey we analyzed (questions blurred for confidentiality).













EHRD 618 - Evaluation Methods in HRD

This course provided a theoretical framework and tools for evaluating programs. Additionally, tools were discussed that were formational for project development with evaluation in mind. My research group worked with the Harris County Library System to evaluate their Red Carpet customer service program. My team worked together to assess the evaluation needs of the organization, develop a logic model for the program, and devise a way to assess the program through data triangulation utilization archival data, management surveys, and on-site observations. 


My contribution to this very high functioning and collaborative team was to provide leadership in data analysis and format our data visualizations. The data discovery is confidential. However, we provided a very useful assessment that was received well by our client, demonstrating mastery of these important concepts.


I have begun to utilize logic models in my own staff planning and strategic development. Every core program lead is required to submit a logic model. Further, we have begun to utilize evaluation tools more consistently to evaluation the aims desired outcomes expressed in our models. This fall, we hosted a community wide event that was our first project planned using this model. Staff were encouraged that they could easily have a tool that set up an objective way to evaluate the success of the project. 

Below is the logic model I produced/designed for our team project:




EHRD 643 - Adult Education, Globalization, & Social Inclusion


This course has been a fitting conclusion to the EHRD/AE program. After exploring a wide range of organizational development and change models, pragmatic solutions for adult learning engagement, program design, etc., this course brings front and center the challenges that adult learning must engage. A broad exploration of neo-liberal influences and co-opting of adult learning agendas has been eye-opening. Further, exposure to global policy goals and global responses in the face of globalization has brought a new awareness of how this task of adult learning is situated in the context of important challenges.


EHRD 690 - Theory of EHRD Research - Stat I_Introduction to Statistics


I have strangely enjoyed this course. As I seek the possibility of PhD work, I’m embracing the challenge. 




Daffron, S. R., & Caffarella, R. S. (2013). Planning programs for adult learners: A practical guide. Langara College. 


Dirani, Khalil M. (2019). EHRD 618 Evaluation Methods in HRD [Syllabus]. College Station, TX: Department of Educational Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University.


Alfred, Mary V. (2019). EHRD 630 Adult Learning Fall 2019 [Syllabus]. College Station, TX: Department of Educational Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University.


Heifetz, R. A., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Harvard Business Press. 


Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. Jossey-Bass. 


Northouse, P.G. (2018). Leadership Theory and Practice (8th ed). SAGE Publications.




"My goal is to graduate from Texas A&M University with a Master of Science in Educational Human Resource Development with an Emphasis in Adult Education 

and to stimulate great change for good wherever I am."

Reagan Waggoner

(from resume submitted in application for ERHD program)

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In October and November, I led a team of congregants to partner with Fort Bend County Judge KP George and Labor to aid residents in filling out applications for rental assistance from state and county resources. This involved training a team of 15 volunteers to work with applicants. This project combined social action and adult learning to deliver meaningful help to people in need.


Utilizing tools and methodologies learned from courses in the program, I built on online learning platform. Curriculum developed in EHRD 642 - Program Development in Adult Education was modified for an online environment. Methodologies gleans from EHRD 616 - Methods of Teaching Adults were implemented. The entire program as well as each course are built using a logic model for planning and evaluation. Considerations learned in EHRD 647 - Education for Older Adults are being leveraged for future course development.

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Work History

2009 - Present



  • Provide primary leadership of a 501c3 non-profit multi-cultural and multi-generational religious organization.

  • Develope and implement an organizational strategy utilizing a mixture of paid staff and volunteers.

  • Deliver weekly inspirational oral and multimedia communications (~360 talks since 2009).

  • Engage the organization in regular and meaningful community projects to address poverty, sex trafficking, and education.

  • Train people for high-level leadership in the community and the congregation.

  • Effectively manage a $1.2 - $1.8 million (USD) budget with consistent net income and growing reserves.



  • Provide care and oversight of five pastors of local congregations across South Texas.

  • Successfully intervened to bring resolution to crisis and conflict situations.

  • Communicate national strategy among constituents. 

  • Participate in National Leadership Team for long-term denominational strategy.

2023 - 2024



  • Created and implemented scope and sequence plan for ongoing training of adults across a range of life skills and faith competencies.

  • Prepared and delivered inspirational congregational messages about eight times a year. 

  • Designed all outgoing communication.

  • Created website and online multimedia distribution (podcast and streaming).

  • Designed and managed IT infrastructure for 35,000 sq/ft building with as many as 20 staff.



  • Delivered design to print media for national leadership meetings.

  • Produced digital media content, including presentation and video content for national leadership meetings.

  • Translated complex concepts and data into compelling visuals for media outreach.

  • Designed new on-brand visual elements to effectively convey concepts and messaging for a variety of clients.





  • Successfully oversaw a variety of programs from design to implementation.

  • Recruited, trained, and deployed volunteer teams to skillfully serve in a variety of programs. 

  • Assisted in general accounting and budgeting of organization-wide finances.

  • Produced general graphic design and outgoing communication content.

  • Prepared and delivered inspirational messages delivered up to four times a year.