ERIC Number: ED236317
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr-18
Continuing Education and Aging: What's Going On? Where Are We Going?
Conter, Robert V.
Two nationwide surveys of college educational programmers and older adults (over 60 years of age) were conducted during 1982. The first survey polled 249 educational programmers to determine the current status of older adult educational activities in terms of the institutions' demographics, funding sources, and programmer expectations of expansion or contraction of services in the near future. The second survey polled both educational programmers and older adult students (all former participants) as to the programmers' expectations and the older persons' motivations for participation in educational experiences in later life. The first study showed that educational programmers regard seniors, in terms of future growth, as an interested but fairly static market for their programs. The second survey showed a lack of congruence between the expectations of educational programmers and the motivations of the senior adults regarding selection of their educational experiences. Much of this lack of congruence involved differing expectations and motivations by the educational programmers and senior adults with regard to need- and want-oriented course offerings. Though the older adults displayed high levels of interest in the "need" courses, their interest was not as consistent as the programmers' and declined rapidly. Educational programmers tended to be more need-oriented in their course offerings, while older adults chose more want-oriented courses. The results of the study should assist programmers in making their offerings more consistent with older adults' motivations and may cause them to look to the older adult market as one source of revenue to help keep their institutions afloat. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Students, College Curriculum, College Programs, College Students, Educational Demand, Educational Gerontology, Educational Improvement, Educational Innovation, Educational Needs, Educational Trends, Enrollment, Enrollment Influences, Futures (of Society), Higher Education, Nontraditional Students, Older Adults, Student Educational Objectives, Student Motivation
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Gerontological Society (29th, Albuquerque, NM, April 18, 1983).