ERIC Number: ED287011
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Older Students in College Programs: A Survey of the Characteristics of Participants in the College Centers for Older Learners.
A preliminary study was conducted to draw a profile of older adults who participate in educational programs on college campuses and to identify those older people who are not being served. The college and university programs surveyed in this study were drawn from a list of College Centers for Older Learners (CCOL) recently described in a publication issued through the Institute for Lifelong Learning. From 92 CCOLs contacted through a mailed survey, 56 usable surveys were returned (61 percent). The survey form requested data on numbers of participants over 55, their ages, income levels, marital status, housing arrangements, racial or ethnic composition, employment status, status of health, and education. Although not all of the responding centers had data on all of the dimensions surveyed, the results obtained do confirm earlier studies. The older people being served in college programs are usually better educated, retired, in fair to good health, and in the middle to high income brackets. Those individuals not being served by these programs can be characterized as minorities, people in poor or frail health, of low income, poorly educated, and lacking adequate transportation. In an open-ended question at the conclusion of the questionnaire, several respondents stated that many elders do not participate because they are not comfortable on college campuses or are fearful of academic participation. However, one statement summed up many others: although people with little education and near poverty level or who do not feel comfortable in an educational background usually do not enroll, when such people do enroll, most enjoy the experience. (KC)
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 Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Washington, DC, October 1987).