ERIC Number: ED375269
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May
Adult Learners: Why Were They Successful? Lessons Learned via an Adult Learner Task Force.
Hofmann, Joan M.; And Others
An adult learner task force at a small liberal arts college conducted a telephone survey of a random stratified sample of approximately 40 recent graduates from 3 college programs to identify factors perceived as contributing to the graduates' academic success. Additionally, a focus group was convened to assess faculty perceptions of institutional support necessary to enhance the teaching of adults. The following were identified as critical dimensions of why students are drawn to college and why they succeed: availability of specific programs; high quality/caliber of program, faculty, and instruction; and small class size and caring atmosphere. Access to adequate resources (libraries, advisement, and academic support services) and timely communication of information regarding availability of resources, events, and program requirements were seen as essential to student satisfaction/success. Faculty were aware of the unique needs of adult learners in their classes and had strong opinions regarding provision of adequate support for successful instruction of adult learners. Among the study recommendations were the following: multiple and flexible class-scheduling patterns; course loads/class sizes small enough to enable faculty to nurture/support students, individualize instruction/advisement, and form strong relationships with students; expanded support services; and more attention directed toward the college-to-postgraduate transition. (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Adult Learner Conference (Columbia, SC, May 1994).