ERIC Number: ED376321
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Adult Undergraduate Students: Patterns of Learning Involvement. Final Research Report.
Kasworm, Carol E.; Blowers, Sally S.
A research study examined the complex roles of adult life in relation to the student role, the nature of adult undergraduate engagement in learning, and adult perceptions of involvement. Adult students were interviewed in three types of institutions: 38 at two liberal arts colleges, 29 at two community colleges, and 23 at two public universities. The entry and socialization of adults into undergraduate student roles was a complex phenomenon that varied for five groups: new entrants, reentrants with significant gaps in previous enrollment, reentrants in competitive colleges, reentrants in colleges similar to previous enrollment, and reentrants in unique adult degree programs. Their beliefs and actions about the student role were based on past educational and personal histories. Their beliefs about college learning and its relationship to other adult roles also varied, suggesting that no single organizational actions will influence learning for all adults. Their perspectives on student involvement were influenced by the following: value of the program/institution, desire for high quality education, the quality of academic learning, the support environment, and concerns about financial access. The student role had complex interactions with family, work, and community roles; family support was a critical component in student participation. Implications for research and for adult and higher education practice centered around three concepts: the adult as student learner; adult images of student involvement; and the adult undergraduate as family member, worker, and citizen. (Appendixes present each of the six institutional research sites as a case study, and include survey instruments and correspondence. Contains 87 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Tennessee Univ., Knoxville. Coll. of Education.