ERIC Number: ED412354
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Adult Education: Who Participates and Why. How Providers of Adult Education Can Create a Climate Conducive to Promoting Greater Participation in Undergraduate Degree Programs.
DeJoy, John S.
The main reasons that adults participate in education are as follows: achieve personal goals/satisfaction, prepare to change careers, or advance in a current career. Adults in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups constitute 59% of all adult learners. Of those groups, the 25-34 age group is more degree-oriented because of concern with earning the qualifications required for an employment choice or higher earnings. As adults age, they enter a "maintenance phase" of their work lives, see their careers in a more balanced perspective, and begin investing less of their ego and energy into the work world. Consequently, among adults aged 35 or older, desire for credit or certification decreases steadily with increasing age. Adult education providers seeking to promote greater participation of adult students in undergraduate degree programs must consider and speak to the different motivations and developmental tasks of adult learners in different age groups. To adults in the 35-44 age group, undergraduate degree programs should be promoted as a way of fulfilling personal goals, obtaining satisfaction and support, and gaining opportunities for socializing by interacting with other learners. Because those who are better educated tend to participate in adult learning activity, the adult education provider should recruit future learners from the pool of current learners. (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A