Article

A Review of the Literature: The Needs of Nontraditional Students in Postsecondary Education

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Abstract

Nontraditional students, or adult learners, are the new majority in the classroom in any sector of higher education according to the National Center for Education Statistics. These students are considered nontraditional if they identify with at least one of the following criteria: be at least 25 years old, attend school part-time, work full-time, be a veteran, have children, wait at least one year after high school before entering college, have a GED instead of a high school diploma, being a first-generation student (FGS), are enrolled in nondegree programs, or have reentered a college program. This population also tends to be predominantly female. As this population trend grows exponentially in higher education, it is imperative for administrators and instructors to learn how to work with these students, as they deal with far different struggles to stay in school than their traditional counterparts. This review of the current literature will explore the best practices for what nontraditional students need based on the varied issues they face in reentering a classroom. A lack of knowledge about this population has led to low enrollment rates and high attrition rates, leaving some schools especially in the for-profit sector, struggling to stay afloat. It is imperative that as populations shift, so do pedagogical and supportive approaches within postsecondary institutions in order to retain these students and ensure their academic success.

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... The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2018) reported between 2001 and 2015, US higher education experienced a 35% increase in enrollment of postsecondary students aged 25-34. Between 2015 and 2016, the NCES predicted an 11% increase of postsecondary students aged 25-34 (NCES, 2018), as many adult learners have decided to pursue a degree due to career changes, requisite job training, a desire to earn a higher salary, and a wide variety of other influences (Carter, 2018;MacDonald, 2018;NCES, 2018;Patterson, 2018;Prins, Kassab, & Campbell, 2015;Smith-Barrow, 2018). Chen (2017) and MacDonald (2018) asserted adult learners aged 25-34 have comprised over 33% of the total postsecondary enrollment in the US for over a decade, yet researchers have consistently found adult learners to be an under-supported and under-researched population of postsecondary students in the United States (Carter, 2018;Chen, 2017;MacDonald, 2018;Osam, Bergman, & Cumberland, 2017;Rogers, 2018). ...
... Between 2015 and 2016, the NCES predicted an 11% increase of postsecondary students aged 25-34 (NCES, 2018), as many adult learners have decided to pursue a degree due to career changes, requisite job training, a desire to earn a higher salary, and a wide variety of other influences (Carter, 2018;MacDonald, 2018;NCES, 2018;Patterson, 2018;Prins, Kassab, & Campbell, 2015;Smith-Barrow, 2018). Chen (2017) and MacDonald (2018) asserted adult learners aged 25-34 have comprised over 33% of the total postsecondary enrollment in the US for over a decade, yet researchers have consistently found adult learners to be an under-supported and under-researched population of postsecondary students in the United States (Carter, 2018;Chen, 2017;MacDonald, 2018;Osam, Bergman, & Cumberland, 2017;Rogers, 2018). ...
... Of the most problematic issues facing US higher education today, researchers have cited postsecondary students' ability to pay for tuition-which have risen nearly twice as quickly as the rate of inflation in recent years (The College Board, 2017)-as a key factor of postsecondary student success (Denning, 2018;Goldrick-Rab, 2016;Kofoed, 2017). However, longitudinal research focused on adult learners have suggested these students are, often times, the neediest students on college campuses, as adult learners often pay expenses-such as the cost of raising children, paying mortgages, and carrying insurance policies-that traditional, aged 18-24 students do not pay (Carter, 2018;Fairchild, 2003;Kasworm, Sandmann, & Sissel, 2009;Levine & Nidiffer, 1996;MacDonald, 2018;Prins et al., 2015;Ziskin, Fischer, Torres, Pellicciotti, & Player-Sanders, 2014). Despite the financial needs of the adult learner population, little is known about these students' knowledge of financial aid, methods of paying for their education, or experiences in applying for financial aid. ...
Article
Although adult learners (aged 25–34) have comprised over 33% of all enrolled students in US institutions of higher education, researchers have consistently found adult learners are under-supported by federal and institutional financial aid, leading these students to experience high dropout rates and low graduation rates. To better understand what adult learners understand about the process of applying for federal student aid, this study captured nationally representative survey data from 813 adult learners applying to four-year, bachelor’s degree-granting US institutions of higher education in Fall 2018. A financial aid jargon survey was written to assess what financial aid jargon terms are unfamiliar or confusing to adult learners. Results suggest some adult learners understand financial aid jargon, but many reported jargon as unfamiliar and confusing, such as Free Application for Federal Student Aid, master promissory note, entrance counseling, data retrieval tool, and non-filer’s statement. Implications for research and practice are addressed. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1477971418824607
... Despite numerous benefits, online youth development degree programs (including webfacilitated coursework, blended coursework, and online coursework) may also present challenges to potential and current students. For example, nearly 75% of online graduate students are 25 or older and 67% are employed full-time (Clinefelter & Aslanian, 2016), thus falling into the nontraditional category (MacDonald, 2018). Given the nontraditional nature of many students pursuing degrees in youth development, one of the challenges reported is low confidence in academic skills due to a time gap between educational experiences (Munro, 2011). ...
... Given the nontraditional nature of many students pursuing degrees in youth development, one of the challenges reported is low confidence in academic skills due to a time gap between educational experiences (Munro, 2011). For instance, students may struggle with reentering the classroom and learning academic writing, taking notes, preparing for exams, keeping up with reading assignments, and managing their time (MacDonald, 2018). Nontraditional students also face a host of personal challenges, such as increased time demands, work anxiety, family pressures, and financial stress (Most, Kazmer, & Marty, 2013). ...
... Additionally, the online platform may prove daunting to students unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using technology (MacDonald, 2018). Another issue nontraditional online learners encounter is poor institutional support, as colleges and universities may fail to provide online nontraditional students with the services they need to succeed, such as assistance in applying for financial aid, access to advisors outside of typical working hours, and mentoring programs, and similar student support services (Quiggins et al., 2016;Regier, 2014). ...
Article
While many academic degree programs target nontraditional students who are working professionals, the literature exploring the challenges facing nontraditional students has not considered the experiences of students pursuing youth development degrees. This study explored benefits and challenges nontraditional students associate with participating in a graduate degree program in youth development delivered through a blended online instruction model. Data were collected via an online survey administered to 95 graduates of a blended online youth development leadership degree program at a state university in the Southeastern United States. Respondents answered questions about changes in competency using a retrospective format, challenges associated with degree completion, and time since participation in the degree program. Competency scores were compared using paired samples t-tests, indicating significant (p ≤.05) pre-to-post degree program growth in all competency areas. Top-ranked challenges to degree completion included: (1) balancing the degree requirements with employment responsibilities and personal/family responsibilities and (2) writing and study skills confidence when returning to academic work after many years. Correlation analyses indicated no significant relations between when respondents participated in the program and the average change reported on any competency (all p's>.05). Additionally, alumni generally ranked challenges in a similar manner regardless of when they participated in the program. Implications for both research and practice are considered for organizations providing professional development or academic degree programs for youth development professionals.
... By definition, Veterans are regarded as non-traditional students and adult learners. 48 Though post-secondary institutions have made considerable strides toward more effectively serving a diverse student population, adult learners have been largely invisible to higher education, especially first-tier universities. 49,50 A survey by the American Council for Education reported that over 40% of post-secondary institutions "did not identify older adult students for purposes of outreach, programs and services, or financial aid." 51(p.12) ...
... A recent review of adult learner needs in post-secondary education pointed to a variety of best practices to work with such students, including the provision of early orientation seminars, flexibility in course availability, adoption of problembased learning, and facilitation of connections with instructors. 48 As Chen 49 argues, with estimates of adult learners -including Veterans -projected to grow substantially, it is essential for post-secondary institutions to recognize and cater to this aspect of student diversity and to embrace it as an economic and national necessity. ...
Article
Lay Summary This article details self-reported mental health symptoms among Canadian Veterans pursing post-secondary education in Canada. Participants reported high prevalence of psychological symptoms, most notably feeling exhausted (80.5%) and overwhelmed (78.9%). More than 1 in 10 respondents reported seriously considering suicide (13.4%), and 5.9% had attempted suicide in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 8.7% of respondents had indicated intentional self-harm (cut, burned, bruised, or otherwise injured themselves) within the past 12 months. The findings reflect significant mental health symptoms for Veterans attending Canadian colleges and universities, underscoring the need to provide tailored services to safely integrate Veterans to campus life.
... In contrast, nontraditional US college students may be older, employed full-time, raising children as single parents, have a General Education Development (GED) certificate instead of a high school diploma, or may be active or returning military (MacDonald, 2018;Radford et al., 2015). Nontraditional students in the US comprise 40% of the US college student population (Chen, 2017) and are primarily female (MacDonald, 2018). ...
... In contrast, nontraditional US college students may be older, employed full-time, raising children as single parents, have a General Education Development (GED) certificate instead of a high school diploma, or may be active or returning military (MacDonald, 2018;Radford et al., 2015). Nontraditional students in the US comprise 40% of the US college student population (Chen, 2017) and are primarily female (MacDonald, 2018). Nontraditional students' challenges typically revolve around anxiety to perform well in school, time management, and balancing work, school, and family life (MacDonald, 2018). ...
Article
Background Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are often associated with substance use behaviors such as drinking excess alcohol and tobacco use. Resilience may protect individuals from engaging in these maladaptive behaviors following ACEs. Objectives: We examined the associations between ACEs and excessive alcohol consumption, and ACEs and tobacco intake and exposure among diverse college students, and whether resilience buffered this relationship. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey in October 2018 with students at a large Southern university to assess ACEs, levels of resilience, and students’ health behaviors. We used the Adverse Childhood Experiences – International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ) and the Brief Resilience Scale. Logistic regression modeled the relationship between ACEs and students’ substance use behaviors. We adjusted for demographics, other health behaviors, and emotional health and we tested resilience as a possible buffer. Results: Participants (n = 568) were in their early twenties, almost three-fourths were female. We had a racially/ethnically diverse sample. Over two-thirds had experienced 1–4 ACEs. ACE exposure was not associated with excess alcohol consumption but exhibited a consistent dose-response relationship in unadjusted and adjusted models. Moderate ACEs increased the odds of tobacco exposure by 227% (OR: 3.27, 95% CI: 1.17–9.11) in adjusted models. Resilience was unrelated to either behavior. Black respondents had significantly reduced odds for both substance use outcomes. Tobacco exposure and excess alcohol intake were comorbid behaviors. Conclusion: Childhood adversity was a significant predictor for tobacco exposure among diverse US college students. Resilience did not buffer this relationship. Age, gender, and race/ethnicity were differentially associated with substance use.
... We used these cutoffs per literature guidelines which define nontraditional students as over 25 years. 51,52 Most of the sample were traditional students (75.4%, n ¼ 493), and most students were white (93.7%, n ¼ 609). As a result of the pandemic, over one-third (40.1%, n ¼ 260) relocated to another city, and 26.6% (n ¼ 174) relocated to another state. ...
Article
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Objective: In light of COVID-19, leaders issued stay-at-home orders, including closure of higher-education schools. Most students left campus, likely impacting their employment and social network. Leaders are making decisions about opening universities and modality of instruction. Understanding students' psychological, physiological, academic, and financial responses to the shut-down and reopening of campuses can help leaders make informed decisions. Participants: 654 students from a large western university enrolled during the pandemic shutdown. Methods: Students were invited via email to complete an online survey. Results: Students reported stress, depression, loneliness, lack of motivation, difficulty focusing on schoolwork, restless sleep, appetite changes, job loss concerns, and difficulties coping. Most wanted to return to campus and felt social/physical distancing was effective but were mixed in terms of testing or masks. Conclusions: Moving to remote learning created physical and psychological stress. Students want to return to campus but do not want to take risk-reducing measures.
... Students-graduate and undergraduate-experience numerous difficulties and obstacles that may be unknown or unfamiliar to colleagues and mentors. Some students, for example, may have obligations and responsibilities that are obscure to faculty and mentors (MacDonald, 2018). To address some of these complexities, mentors can, for instance, be flexible in scheduling meetings with students who may not be able to adhere to a rigid weekly schedule. ...
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As we strive to lift up a diversity of voices in science, it is important for ecologists, evolutionary scientists, and educators to foster inclusive environments in their research and teaching. Academics in science often lack exposure to research on best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion and may not know where to start to make scientific environments more welcoming and inclusive. We propose that by approaching research and teaching with empathy, flexibility, and a growth mind‐set, scientists can be more supportive and inclusive of their colleagues and students. This paper provides guidance, explores strategies, and directs scientists to resources to better cultivate an inclusive environment in three common settings: the classroom, the research laboratory, and the field. As ecologists and evolutionary scientists, we have an opportunity to adapt our teaching and research practices in order to foster an inclusive educational ecosystem for students and colleagues alike.
... Educator knowledge on the subject is highlighted as an important factor to effective within this model is of particular importance given the unique needs of nontraditional students (Hodge, 2022;MacDonald, 2018;Zeit, 2014), further exacerbated through online mediums of education. This supports the need for an approach that appraises both educator perspectives and student perspectives and highlights the ongoing academic conversation around the disconnect between theory and practice (Aronson & Laughter, 2016; Kahlke et al., 2020;Skic, 2020). ...
Article
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Adult learners increasingly pursue higher education opportunities. As such, it is crucial for educators to ensure that they are competently equipped and are using the most effective strategies to facilitate the learning process. Through a review of extant literature, we develop a conceptual framework that is grounded in university pedagogy theory to emphasize a shared approach to the learning process. We conclude with implications for practice specific to international and nontraditional contexts.
... In order to tailor educational practices accordingly, it is important to focus attention on attitudes and needs among the older (i.e., 50 years or older) segment of nontraditional-aged adult degree-seeking learners that may differ from those of younger nontraditional-aged adult learners (Cai et al., 2018;MacDonald, 2018;Stevens et al., 2019). Previous research is very limited with respect to age/developmental differences in motivational, attitudinal, and emotional factors related to specific areas of study. ...
Article
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Individuals who are 50 years or older are the largest growing demographic among adult learners. However, we still are in the initial stages of investigating their attitudes and anxieties regarding specific areas of study. The current study explored differences between 92 younger (26–49 years) and older (50+ years) nontraditional-aged, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students’ attitudes and anxieties regarding statistics and research. The Attitudes Toward Research (ATR) and Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS) scales were completed via an online survey. Younger nontraditional-aged students generally expressed significantly higher anxiety and more negative beliefs regarding both statistics and research than their older counterparts. Differences were not explained by level of study nor by related experience. Results are discussed in relation to further consideration of student- and cohort-centered applications of andragogical and heutagogical principles for targeted educational practices.
... Especially for learners in heterogeneous life situations, digital teaching concepts are rarely found; there are hardly any special courses for nontraditional students, such as employed people, commuters and people with children, although this group is continuously growing. Although virtual universities already exist, face-to-face universities only offer hybrid courses or the inverted classroom to a limited extent (Dolch & Zawacki-Richter, 2018;MacDonald, 2018). ...
Article
COVID-19: It started in one place in January 2020 and has since reached the whole world. The global pandemic has been spreading and changing our lives since. The COVID-19 crisis has also changed many things within the world of higher education. In-person teaching was no longer possible; instead, almost all courses were offered in digital formats. This sudden change poses enormous challenges for universities, students, and teachers. This paper discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities offered by digital teaching. Based on central assumptions of the ‘second digital divide,’ it examines whether certain groups of higher education students are more affected by the switch to digital teaching than others. Findings from national and international studies were used, as well as a survey from the University of Marburg (Germany). They show that there is a relationship between various socio-demographic factors and the evaluation of digital teaching. For example, university students with highly educated parents more often rate digital courses as a good substitute for face-to-face teaching than students with less educated parents. A brief overview highlights the problems faced by teachers in the transition to digital teaching. This paper ends with a discussion of the opportunities that arise from the digitalization of teaching and the wishes of students and teachers with regard to future teaching.
... It has been well-studied that understanding and anticipating the needs of unique student populations can help educators develop strategies to engage and sustain nontraditional learners. 11 However, despite the problematic attrition rates of RN-to-BSN students 12 and simultaneous pressure to rapidly build an increasingly competent nurse workforce, there is little known about what RNs expect from their RN-to-BSN program, and how expectations can harm or help degree advancement. In a review of the literature, only two studies were found examining student expectations in an RN-to-BSN program. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Studies show that the primary reasons registered nurses (RNs) withdraw from registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing (RN‐BSN) programs are related to the challenge of sustaining work and family obligations while in school and having unclear expectations. It has been shown that nontraditional students facing these types of challenges benefit from programs that give strong sense of faculty connection and orient students to coursework by providing clear information. Purpose The purpose of this project was to see if conducting one‐on‐one, script‐guided orientation phone calls with individual students provided valuable programmatic information and established a sense of connection to faculty. Methods Six RN‐to‐BSN faculty conducted a combined 108 orientation telephone calls to individual, newly enrolled online RN‐to‐BSN students. The purpose of the orientation was to introduce general program expectations required to successfully complete courses, and provide students with a sense of connectedness with faculty. Faculty developed and distributed a survey (3, 6‐point Likert scale response items and 2 open‐ended questions) to understand the degree to which RN‐to‐BSN students valued the orientation phone call. Results Ninety‐four percent (n = 101) of participating students agreed that the RN‐BSN program orientation phone call resulted in feeling a “sense of connectedness” with the online program faculty member. Additionally, 95% (n = 102) agreed that the orientation phone call provided them with the necessary information to support success in their first course within an RN‐BSN online program. Conclusion One‐on‐one orientation telephone calls provided valuable program overview information and the personal conversational format conveyed to remote students faculty availability and an enhanced sense of connectedness.
... Other scholars employ a demographic description which includes chronological age and additional factors such as part-time attendance, full-time work while enrolled, financial independence, and single parenthood (Bourke, 2014;Strange & Banning, 2001). Similarly, (MacDonald, 2018) indicates that specific criteria for an adult learner include: being at least 25 years old; waiting at least one year after high school before entering college; having a GED (General Education Diploma) instead of a high school diploma; being a first-generation student (FGS), or have re-entered a college program. ...
Chapter
Researchers and practitioners have come to understand adult learners as unique and different from child learners, and have developed different theoretical approaches, methodologies, and strategies attuned to their educational needs and life circumstances. This chapter examines the factors that impact the effectiveness of adult learning programs and classroom environments by using perspectives of education theorists. The needs of the adult learner, advantages of teaching adults, and principles that can be followed are explored with the help of Knowles' andragogy model. The importance of the classroom's eco-behavioral features—their physical and emotional environments—along with other factors that effectively facilitate the process of adult education are discussed. In this context, an adaptation of Astin's I-E-O's model is proposed to deepen the understanding of adult learning programs.
... When compared with their traditional counterparts, nontraditional students face a variety of challenges. These challenges include balancing family, work, and school, financial barriers, cultural barriers, confidence, and learning to use modern technology (MacDonald, 2018;Remenick, 2019). The more nontraditional characteristics a student possesses, the more barriers they will face, as their academic needs will often interfere with their jobs and the needs of their families (Ellis, 2019). ...
Article
The current study sought to measure how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the mental health and well-being of college students, particularly nontraditional students. Participants ( n = 321) completed a series of surveys assessing their level of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, insomnia, and well-being. Participants also indicated their nontraditional student characteristics, level of resilience, and additional life stressors due to the pandemic. Statistical analyses found that participants reported higher levels of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and insomnia, with corresponding lower levels of well-being across all students, compared with prepandemic levels. Results showed that while nontraditional students indicated an increased number of life stressors during the pandemic compared with their traditional peers, nontraditional students also demonstrated higher levels of resilience. Nontraditional students appear to be more successful at managing stressful life events due to the increased resilience that comes with age and experience, which can better prepare them to persevere and overcome challenges.
... Se uulizó un muestreo no probabilísco por accesibilidad. (MacDonald, 2018). El 65% reportó dedicarse exclusivamente a las accvidades acadé- micas mientras que el resto manifestó combinarlas con un empleo. ...
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p>El objetivo de este trabajo es comparar los resultados obtenidos en estudios de validez y confiabilidad de una Escala de Utilidad de la Matemática cuando varían los formatos Likert de los ítems. El test mide las creencias de estudiantes de Psicología respecto de la importancia atribuida a la Matemática para la carrera y el futuro desarrollo profesional. Participaron 939 estudiantes de Psicología (81% mujeres) quienes respondieron a los ítems usando escalas de 3, 5 y 6 categorías. Se controló el efecto del orden de exposición de los individuos a cada formato y se incluyeron además otros instrumentos para reducir la memorización de las respuestas. Las escalas Likert con más categorías incrementaron la precisión del instrumento en los niveles extremos del rasgo, pero a costa de comprometer las evidencias sobre la estructura interna (Análisis Factorial Confirmatorio y Modelo de Crédito Parcial de la Teoría de Respuesta al ítem). La función de eficiencia relativa reveló que se obtiene similar información para todos los niveles del rasgo usando 5 y 6 opciones. La cantidad de categorías Likert no afectó sustantivamente la relación de la Utilidad con otras variables.</p
... The effective teaching of adults also encourages learning by doing. Because adult students want to actively participate in their educational process, teachers in these classrooms must be flexible in both course content and instructional methodology, be willing to differentiate the instruction to meet students' needs, and offer ongoing support in the learning process (MacDonald, 2018). Although my study was not focused specifically on adult learning theory, it was important that the lens of adult learning theory be used in the development of the FI and SL activities. ...
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Researchers and practitioners have come to understand adult learners as unique and different from child learners, and have developed different theoretical approaches, methodologies, and strategies attuned to their educational needs and life circumstances. This chapter examines the factors that impact the effectiveness of adult learning programs and classroom environments by using perspectives of education theorists. The needs of the adult learner, advantages of teaching adults, and principles that can be followed are explored with the help of Knowles' andragogy model. The importance of the classroom's eco-behavioral features—their physical and emotional environments—along with other factors that effectively facilitate the process of adult education are discussed. In this context, an adaptation of Astin's I-E-O's model is proposed to deepen the understanding of adult learning programs. It can be accessed and bought at https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/the-adult-learner-in-higher-education/253592 This publication was part of IGI Global's Diversity and Inclusion Campaign 2021. ACCESS IGI : https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/the-adult-learner-in-higher-education/253592?camid=4v1 You can check out a video about the book here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfU2epiQI6w GOOGLE BOOKS If you are a Google Books user, you can surely access it unconditionally at the appropriate link given below. GOOGLE BOOKS :https://books.google.co.in/books?id=M5vfDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover
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The purpose of this quantitative, causal-comparative study was to determine if, and to what extent, age, gender, and Internet experience affect nontraditional adult learners’ perceptions of web-based learning in online and hybrid college courses in the United States. A survey called Learners’ Perceptions towards the Web-based Distance Learning Activities/Assignments Portion of the Hybrid Program measured perceptions of web-based learning. Data were collected by using convenience sampling from the target population of nontraditional students, with a final sample of 187 participants. Social constructivism, social presence, and the technology acceptance model were used to guide this study. The research questions were: 1. To what extent is there a statistically significant mean difference between students’ age and their perceptions of Web-based learning in online and hybrid college courses?; 2. To what extent is there a statistically significant mean difference between students’ gender and their perceptions of Web-based learning in online and hybrid college courses?; and 3. To what extent is there a statistically significant mean difference between students’ experience with the Internet and their perceptions of Web-based learning in online and hybrid college courses? ANOVA and the t-test were used to determine whether there were any statistically significant differences between the groups being examined. The findings accepted the null hypotheses for age (F(2,194) = 1.551, p = .215), gender (t(195) = 1.774, p = .078), and Internet experience (F(1, 195) = .000, p = .989). These findings may be used to inform higher education leaders of best practices concerning web-based courses.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe how lean management principles can be used in teaching and learning processes while preparing classes for non-traditional adult learners (NALs). Careful planning and the application of lean methods can result in NALs’ enhanced engagement and success at academic institutions. Design/methodology/approach The fundamental concepts of the lean philosophy, value, value streams, flow, pull and perfection were used to carefully examine the teaching and learning process at academic institutions. Efforts were made to identify non-value-added activities in the process and explore methods to enhance the learning experience for NALs. Findings This paper provides a comprehensive approach on how to plan a class using lean methodology. Identification and removal of non-value-added activities in teaching and learning processes can help to engage students in the classroom. Practical implications This research has practical implications for academic institutions. Incorporation of lean methodology may lead to identification and elimination of waste in teaching and learning processes. This may allow instructors to re-evaluate existing course delivery methods and offer equal or higher quality curricula while reducing cost at the same time. Originality/value Lean management principles have been successfully applied to a variety of administrative processes at academic institutions. However, there exists very limited research that show lean can be effectively used in designing curricula for NALs. This project can provide a framework for the application of lean while teaching and learning at academic institutions.
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Many countries of our planet have different modes of education for male and female sections of society. Often we find that a many educational institutions are open for both sexes. But there also are many intuitions which only educate either male or female students. Segregation of male and female students is not confined to any specific region or countries but it's a global phenomenon. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) provides a unique face to face way of joint classes for both sexes. The kingdom takes the advantage of networking technology to create an environment to provide a physical classroom for females in their campus and male students in their campus. The male teacher teaches the male section face to face in their classroom while the female section is linked with a live video of the instructor and the screen. The female students can ask questions and teacher can also interact with them. While female section can see the teacher via video link but the male teacher cannot see the female students. This way of teaching exist for many UG and PG classes across Saudi Arabia, as well as some other countries of the world. In this paper we shall analyse the benefits and drawback of this way of teaching for the female counterpart. To conclude our findings, we have conducted thirty interviews of female students in different departments of the faculties of Economics and Administration, and Computing and Information Technology of the King Abdulaziz University of Saudi Arabia.
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Workplace learning is a critical aspect of both continuing professional education and human resource development. However, often providers, scholars and even the learners themselves pay little attention to the learning that actually happens in the workplace. The study sought to obtain insights into workplace learning of Adult Education and Training, centre managers and educators. Qualitative data generated through interviews and focus group discussions with 62 conveniently selected educators and centre managers in 18 Adult Education and Training centres were thematically analysed through a seven-step process. Educator workplace learning emerged around judgement, decision-making and problem solving, awareness and understanding, role and task performance and team work and passion. Data also indicated that the learning was tacit, surface, context-rooted and consequential to managing crises in the Adult Education and Training centres. The study recommends adequate resource provisioning to this sector by the Department of Higher Education and Training to promote deep learning-in-practice and minimise the surface learning in crisis management that is prevalent in the centres. Adult Education and Training has to fulfil its mandate of contributing to economic development and transformation of broader society, however, without resource supports, this crucial role will remain a dream, which may force educators into paying lip-service to the work of educating adults.
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The demand for higher education has been increasing in Jamaica as in many other Caribbean countries. Those who respond to such demands, pursuing further studies in higher education, will need to navigate many obligations and challenges. Additionally, some individuals may be First Generation (FG) adult learners and may lack the tacit knowledge and emotional sustenance to help them succeed. Consequently, adult learners pursuing postgraduate studies will need support in understanding themselves as learners and how to succeed. This study reports findings on challenges that non-traditional adult learners in a Jamaican higher education context face in pursuing postgraduate studies. Using the photovoice research method, qualitative data were collected from 10 adult learners through photographed representations of prompts, photovoice focus group discussions, and participants’ reflections. The main findings revealed that the adult learners experienced multiple conflicting emotions as they engaged in their postgraduate programmes of study; experienced challenges balancing their multiple roles and responsibilities, some of which were linked to their status as FG adult learners; and characterised the COVID-19 pandemic as having a dualistic nature, one that exacerbated challenges whilst also offering them opportunities to focus on their studies as well as themselves. The article makes recommendations for supporting these adult learners at the institutional and personal levels as they pursue their studies.
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En el trabajo realizado en el proyecto en convenio con la Universidad Católica de Manizales y la Fundación Obras sociales de Betania, tenía como objetivo fomentar la cultura de la conservación del medio ambiente por medio de proyectos tecnológicos, en los niños y niñas de la escuela de fútbol y danzas de la comunidad de San Sebastián de la ciudad de Manizales. En ese sentido, se plantea una metodología de investigación-acción puesto que aborda la problemática social donde se vinculan estudiantes y padres de familia. En ese sentido, se planteó la construcción de 3 proyectos tecnológicos enfocados a promover la conservación del cuidado del ambiente en los estudiantes que pertenecen a la fundación y que hacen parte de la escuela de fútbol y danzas de la comunidad de San Sebastián. A manera de conclusión, se pudo reconocer la apropiación que padres de familia y estudiantes tuvieron frente a los procesos educativos y pedagógicos que se llevaron a cabo dentro del trabajo realizado con los miembros de la comunidad. Asimismo, se evaluó por medio de un ejercicio de socialización con la comunidad la importancia que tiene para los estudiantes y padres de familia el cuidado, preservación y conservación del ambiente mediante el uso de materiales reciclados y que se puedan reutilizar.
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Universities today are faced with top-down political and economic pressures, on the one hand, and the need to support students in their learning on the other. Neoliberalism, which conceptualizes students as consumers of higher education rather than learners in higher education, seems to be the current perspective adopted by university administrators. In contrast, academics involved in teaching and support services appear to adopt different philosophical frameworks which place their students at the core of teaching programs. These educators seem to be resisting neoliberalism through alternative pedagogies, such as those of Vygotsky’s social constructivism, transition pedagogies, and a “pedagogy of the heart” which seek to engage, retain, and support students in the higher education environment. Through a detailed examination of the available literature, the authors posit that despite what seems to be the economic-driven agenda of neoliberalist philosophy in universities today, student-centered learning and teaching practices found in student support services appear to be based on humanist philosophies. As studies in this field are limited, the authors call for further research into the effects of the neoliberalist philosophy on student support services to gain a more comprehensive picture of how these services will be affected in future.
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Online courses are popular in community colleges among students of different backgrounds. However, compared to community college students who take face-to-face courses, those who take online courses earn lower grades and are less likely to receive a diploma or transfer to a four-year institution. Designing courses to facilitate social presence, as defined in the Community of Inquiry framework, can support student persistence and retention, but activities that support social presence may be in conflict with community college students’ expectations for efficiency in an online course. This study used an online survey to explore the value community college students placed on social presence, teaching presence and efficiency. Students reported that they valued efficiency most highly, followed by teaching presence. Social presence was the least valued of the three constructs. These findings have implications for how community college instructors design their online courses and how they communicate the relevance of course activities to students.
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This study reports the development and validation of the Online Learning Readiness Self-Check (OLRSC), a self-report survey designed to examine nontraditional students’ readiness for online learning. A total of 505 prospective online learners with diverse background participated in the study. Data from 252 randomly selected participants were used to conduct the exploratory factor analysis, which extracted six factors of online learning readiness. Data from the remaining 253 participants were used for the confirmatory factor analysis, which supported the six-factor structure of the OLRSC with a reduction of 39 to 23 items. This instrument about online learning readiness can be used for prospective online learners to identify their strength and weakness. The diagnostic information can also be used to provide meaningful guides or aids to future nontraditional students.
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In the context of the equity/widening participation policy landscape in Australia, scholarly exploration of alternative pathways into higher education is becoming increasingly important to inform innovative pedagogies, answer complex questions, and improve outcomes and experiences for students. This article focuses on one alternative pathway, ‘enabling’ education, which has a 45-year history in Australia but has, for a variety of reasons, remained on the periphery of mainstream discourses about higher education. In this article, we offer a meta-scoping study of a selection of 88 journal articles and research reports focusing on Australian Enabling education. Through an analysis of who is writing, what is written and how it is written, we attempt to unite enabling education scholars in a conversation about our field and suggest ways forward to better connect with broader conversations about higher education in Australia and move enabling programs, practitioners and the students they serve into the centre stage of Australia’s equity in higher education agenda.
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COVID-19 didn’t disrupt higher education; it hastened the disruptions that have already been taking place. One particularly prominent disruption is the digital shift, or the move from primarily face-to-face operations to operations with a large digital component. In order to survive, higher education needs to fundamentally change. But how prepared is your library for these changes? You can’t simply wait for these changes to happen and hope to get lucky; instead, you need to make your own luck. Libraries are uniquely situated to lead the institution in this digital shift. This paper will present an overview of student demographic and higher education trends such as decreasing enrollment, increasing diversity of the student body and its needs, technological disruptions, and changing workforce needs. Specific examples from two academic libraries in the United States will demonstrate how this information has informed practice, allowing these libraries to be ahead of the digital shift, to easily weather the COVID storm, and to be models for other campus departments. As humanity’s response to the COVID-19 crisis transitions from reactive to proactive, higher education cannot return to pre-pandemic operational norms. Libraries must position themselves to nimbly adjust to disruptions of traditional services rather than rely on “getting lucky” when change is forced upon them. Instead, make your own luck by intentionally integrating more digital resources into the collection and more virtual services into the workflow, using patron data to inform workflow decisions, and flexibly adapting crisis mode operations to sustainable, permanent operations. Ultimately, this paper will show how librarians can combine the tried-and-true with new library practices to adjust to the digital shift in a way that positions them to lead campuses into the future of higher education.
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The current research examines whether a visual syllabus aids in information retention compared to a traditional text-based syllabus. The data derive from two lower-division sociology classes, each having a different syllabus format. Utilizing a syllabus quiz during the first week of the class provides the data about whether syllabus format matters. The data suggest the visual syllabus class retained more information given that students exposed to the visual approach scored significantly higher on a quiz than the traditional syllabus class. The current research presents an overview of why visuals may help in information retention with emphasis on the importance of inclusive course material and nontraditional students; an explanation of the data, methods, and analytic procedure followed by the findings; as well as a critical evaluation of and points to consider when creating a visual syllabus.
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The use of andragogy and technology helps non-traditional adult students create a greater sense of connectedness within online courses and programs. When students feel a greater sense of connectedness, they tend to have higher academic efficacy and are more likely to complete their degree programs. Technology is continuously evolving. When we embrace technology's evolution and anchor its use to andragogical principles, we create courses and learning experiences that foster a more profound sense of connectedness for our online learners. Hanshaw, Helm-Stevens, and Lopez found that utilizing technology and a student-centered approach increased a student's sense of connectedness and intrinsic motivation to learn. The use of technology in the online classroom has to evolve to match our non-traditional learners' expectations. This chapter will explore the use of technology and the application of andragogical principles to create a learning environment where non-traditional adult learners thrive.
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COVID-19: It started in one place in January 2020 and has since reached the whole world. The global pandemic has been spreading and changing our lives since. The COVID-19 crisis has also changed many things within the world of higher education. In-person teaching was no longer possible; instead, almost all courses were offered in digital formats. This sudden change poses enormous challenges for universities, students, and teachers. This paper discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities offered by digital teaching. Based on central assumptions of the ‘second digital divide, it examines whether certain groups of higher education students are more affected by the switch to digital teaching than others. Findings from national and international studies were used, as well as a survey from the University of Marburg (Germany). They show This study shows that there is a relationship between various socio-demographic factors and the evaluation of digital teaching. For example, university students with highly educated parents more often rate digital courses as a good substitute for face-to-face teaching than students with less educated parents. A brief overview highlights the problems faced by teachers in the transition to digital teaching. This paper ends with a discussion of the opportunities that arise from the digitalization of teaching and the wishes of students and teachers with regard to future teaching.
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Institutional access https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-58352-1 Deficit‐informed thinking has dominated the presentation of working-class communities. This chapter highlights the cultural wealth that academics of working-class heritage possess. The work of Tara Yosso (2005, Whose Culture Has Capital? A Critical Race Theory Discussion of Community Cultural Wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69–91) is utilised as she combats the notion that non-elites are culturally deficient (p. 70). Student support was cited as an asset my respondents offered the academy.
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Institutional access https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-58352-1 A pedagogy without due consideration to class differences, renders invisible those marginalised by class (adapted from Giroux, Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education, Chicago, 2014: 89). This chapter refers to a particular asset mainly cited by working-class academics from the Arts & Humanities: a pedagogy informed by cultural knowledge, collaboration and social justice.
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Students learn in and out of a formal classroom, and instructors and academic advisors play key roles in academic motivation and learning. Therefore, through the lens of self-determination theory, we examined the ways perceived support from instructors and advisors relates to satisfaction of college students’ basic psychological needs. Advisor and instructor support correlated with satisfaction of student needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Also, as hypothesized, instructor and advisor support predicted satisfaction of basic needs, but did so differently. Instructors and academic advisors create a dynamic duo that significantly contributes to satisfaction of basic psychological needs underlying motivation and achievement.
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For-profit, or proprietary, colleges are the fastest-growing postsecondary schools in the nation, enrolling a disproportionately high share of disadvantaged and minority students and those ill-prepared for college. Because these schools, many of them big national chains, derive most of their revenue from taxpayer-funded student financial aid, they are of interest to policy makers not only for the role they play in the higher education spectrum but also for the value they provide their students. In this article, David Deming, Claudia Goldin, and Lawrence Katz look at the students who attend for-profits, the reasons they choose these schools, and student outcomes on a number of broad measures and draw several conclusions. First, the authors write, the evidence shows that public community colleges may provide an equal or better education at lower cost than for-profits. But budget pressures mean that community colleges and other nonselective public institutions may not be able to meet the demand for higher education. Some students unable to get into desired courses and programs at public institutions may face only two alternatives: attendance at a for-profit or no postsecondary education at all. Second, for-profits appear to be at their best with well-defined programs of short duration that prepare students for a specific occupation. But for-profit completion rates, default rates, and labor market outcomes for students seeking associate’s or higher degrees compare unfavorably with those of public postsecondary institutions. In principle, taxpayer investment in student aid should be accompanied by scrutiny concerning whether students complete their course of study and subsequently earn enough to justify the investment and pay back their student loans. Designing appropriate regulations to help students navigate the market for higher education has proven to be a challenge because of the great variation in student goals and types of programs. Ensuring that potential students have complete and objective information about the costs and expected benefits of for-profit programs could improve postsecondary education opportunities for disadvantaged students and counter aggressive and potentially misleading recruitment practices at for-profit colleges, the authors write.
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The current literature review explores the factors that contribute to academic persistence for adult learners. The aim of the study is to identify current research-based strategies aimed at supporting learner persistence, particularly for low-skilled adults. Elements of three theoretical frameworks, namely, expectancy-value theory (EVT), goal theory (GT) and self-determination theory (SDT) are conceptualised in a new, melded cognitive model to explain better the constructs that contribute to academic persistence. These theories are used to frame and explain the challenges that adult learners face when returning to school and to understand better the psychosocial demands on adult learners, based on social cognitive theory. This study is particularly significant in the light of current national attention directed towards redesigning adult basic education programmes to include more workforce development and strategies aimed at accelerating the progress of adult learners through basic skills and into post-secondary education and/or career training. Questions guiding the current study include identifying research-based strategies that instructors can use, and elements of programme design that support student persistence.
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This article discusses curricular innovations and teaching strategies within first-year and one-credit seminars. Seminar learning experiences can set the stage for further general education coursework by encouraging active learning and independent investigation, along with helping students to assume responsibility for their own intellectual development.
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This study examines the relationships between student engagement, college GPA, and persistence for 6,000 students attending 18 baccalaureate-granting institutions. Data sources included student-level information from the National Survey of Student Engagement, academic transcripts, merit aid, and ACT/SAT score reports. Engagement had positive, statistically significant effects on grades and persistence between the first and second year of study for students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Equally important, engagement had compensatory effects for historically underserved students in that they benefited more from participating in educationally purposeful activities in terms of earning higher grades and being more likely to persist.
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Community colleges welcome traditional-age and adult students who are not prepared to do college-level work, but there is a lack of consensus about how they should be assessed, placed, and taught.
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The purpose of this study was to estimate a conceptual model of nontraditional student attrition. Data were gathered from 624 nontraditional (commuter, part-time) freshmen at a midwestern urban university enrolling 22,000 students. For these nontraditional students, dropout was a function of GPA and credit hours enrolled, as well as the utility of education for future employment, satisfaction with the student role, opportunity to transfer, and age affecting dropout through intent to leave. In addition, absence from class, age, high school performance, and ethnicity had indirect effects on dropout through GPA. These results suggested that nontraditional students dropped out of college for academic reasons or because they were not committed to attending the institution, but their reasons for leaving were unrelated to social factors at school. The findings helped validate the conceptual model.
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Students have many opportunities to familiarize themselves with their college after committing to a school. Institutions offer summer orientation and enrollment sessions, and many also offer extended orientation sessions that may include spending time in the residence halls or outdoor camps and activities. Upon arrival to campus, first year students are given a great deal of information about campus resources, culture and traditions. They may also have welcome week activities, first year seminar classes, learning communities, specialized housing accommodations,and a wealth of other opportunities to connect to the university. The purpose of this report is to explore both the unique challenges facing first year students and the varying support structures in place for them. To explore this topic, the unique needs facing first-year, residential students as it relates to student development and transition theories will be outlined. Focusing on institutional concerns, persistence will also be explored as a theoretical framework. Finally, to make this report relevant to Kansas State University, the first year programming efforts at twelve institutions will be synthesized and analyzed as a foundation for comparison. A proposal for potential programs at K-State will be presented. Master of Science Masters Counseling and Student Developement Christy D. Craft
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