ERIC Number: ED269113
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Adult Students in Community College: Learning to Manage the Learning Process.
Claus, John F.
A study was conducted by the Appalachia Educational Laboratory (AEL) to determine impediments to and facilitators of adult students' success during their first semester of attendance at a community college and to recommend interventions which would minimize the difficulties of returning adults as they attempt to manage the learning process. The target population for the study consisted of 70 Appalachia region community college students, ranging in age from 22 to 57, who had no prior postsecondary educational experience and were enrolled in at least two major-related courses. Data collection involved in-depth interviews with all students in the sample, observations of a sample of classes in which target students were commonly enrolled, and daily logs filled out by the enrolled students for 1 week during the second month of the semester. The study found that students' attempts to manage the learning process were affected by issues related to finances, home and family, transportation, unique personal factors, goals and commitment, academic adjustment, the classroom, and the institution. Based on study findings, a number of interventions were suggested to AEL region schools to: (1) help adult students with their problems outside of school (e.g., college-sponsored child-care centers, adult student support groups, and in-service training to sensitize student personnel workers to adult students' problems); (2) improve the classroom experience (e.g., in-service teacher training to promote course organization around a detailed syllabus, thorough explanation and review in class, in-class dialog, and heightened sensitivity to the special needs of adults); and (3) improve academic services at the institutional level (e.g., more thorough counseling at time of enrollment, provision of more information about majors and careers in introductory courses, more mandatory advising sessions, and closer assessment of skill levels). (EJV)
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Adult Students, Community Colleges, Continuing Education, Dropout Prevention, Enrollment Influences, High Risk Students, Nontraditional Students, Reentry Students, School Holding Power, Student Attitudes, Student Needs, Student Personnel Services, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (70th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).