ERIC Number: ED203726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jul
The University, Declining Enrollments, and Life-Span Development.
Ansello, Edward F.
Trends in college enrollment patterns, along with reference to the historical development of the university, are considered, and the university's response to population shifts and the role of life-span development in that response are addressed. It is proposed that the response of higher education to declining number of youth should not be simple or superficial (e.g., to attempt to recruit larger numbers of young adults for part-time enrollments, or to attempt to reorient emphases toward more research and service and less teaching). It is suggested that these types of changes do not alter the university's fundamental age-segmented mentality, a concept with pervasive theoretical and methodological implications. It is proposed that the current momentum may become the opportunity for a basic reorientation toward life-span development. This reorientation would help resolve some of the enrollment problems because of the greater growth of the numbers of older (35 or 40 and older) adults; but, more importantly, would supplant the existent normative, universal, age-segmented model of development with one sensitive to differential processes of development, characterized by interindividual and intraindividual variability, multidimensionality, and multidirectionality of expression. It is claimed that the life-span development model could vitalize university research, service and education, especially among those units most vulnerable to budgetary cuts. Among the areas in need of interdisciplinary investigation by educators, physical educators and recreators, and behavioral and social scientists are the following: normative adult transitions, time and leisure, life-span learning, learning and memory, individual counseling, and industrial counseling. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Improving University Teaching (6th, Lausanne, Switzerland, July 9-12, 1980).