Retaining adult learners

Summary : Throughout the world, policy-makers are demonstrating their commitment to widening participation in education by promoting alternative pathways to gaining academic qualifications. Seventy-nine adults taking online learning courses with the Open University in the United Kingdom participated in a telephone survey and 15 of these students were also interviewed. Participants perceived themselves as having more easily accessed education because of the option of online learning and reported having benefited from the experience.

Retention of adult students is a persistent and perplexing problem for providers of adult education. Participation and nonparticipation are popular subjects in the literature, as researchers attempt to identify characteristics and motivations of adult students and the causes of dropping out. One problem centers around the definition of retention and the value placed on it.

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Busy adult learners are not the only people experiencing their education. Employers and family members of these students support—and are affected by—adults going back to school. College and university programs that recognize the need to respect the scheduling constraints of their learners will create programs with:.

From geteducated. Students in the program average 37 years of age, hold significant positions in their firms, and travel extensively in their jobs. The program requires a commitment of 20 hours per week during the 20 weeks of distance instruction for each module. Given the pressure of their jobs, the need for a personal life, and the hour commitment to their studies, student retention is a major issue in this program.

Today, the non-traditional adult student is the norm. Over the past three decades, busy adults have been going back to school in record numbers to advance in and change their careers. During the most recent decade, after experiencing the Dot Com crash and the Great Recession, adult learners in North America have become more savvy consumers of higher education.

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More so than traditional students who have more time for multiple campus visitsadult learners conduct most of their college searches online. So your website is a more vital marketing asset with this learner segment. But you can make less costly incremental changes, test visitor behavior, and iterate accordingly.

View the Community Snapshot. The Advising Adult Learners Community serves advisors who spend a significant portion of their duties in serving adult students. Through the sharing of information and experience our community assists advisors of adult learners to understand and address the unique needs of adult students.

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College enrollment for the spring semester fell almost 2 percent since last year, according to an annual enrollment report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. For-profit four-year schools were hit hardest On average, enrollment figures for all sectors have declined each of the last six semesters.

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