ERIC Number: ED342959
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-15
Acquiring New Perspectives: The Impact of Education on Adult Students in a Traditional University.
Cupp, Linda Butterfield
A study explored adult undergraduate students' perceptions of the impact of the educational experience on attitudes, values, interests, and aspirations. A sequence of open-ended interview questions in four content areas was developed from a study of relevant literature, advice of a committee of adult educators, and categories that emerged from two pilot studies. Sixteen students were selected from a population of 216 students, 25 years of age and older, in their senior year in the College of Arts and Sciences at a midwestern land-grant university primarily serving traditional students. Semistructured interviews were conducted during the fall 1990 semester; every student contacted agreed to be interviewed. Data were collapsed into emergent conceptual themes, counted, and subjected to the constant comparative method of data analysis proposed by Glaser and Strauss (1967). According to the findings, adults believed that undergraduate education alters, enhances, or accelerates developing attitudes and values; stimulates new interests; and defines, heightens, and makes possible the realization of aspirations. However, changes in perspective often began prior to returning to school, and involvement and participation in extracurricular activities decreased. Although time constraints and a lack of institutional support were perceived as major barriers to the educational process, students indicated that they would repeat the experience. (29 references) (YLB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A presentation based on this paper was made at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Montreal, Quebec, October 16, 1991).