ERIC Number: ED431351
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-21
Adult Undergraduate Students: How Do They Define Success?
Donaldson, Joe F.; Graham, Steven W.; Martindill, William; Long, Shawna; Bradley, Shane
This study explored how adult students define success in college and their perceptions of factors that either support or hinder achievement of this success. Thirteen returning adult students at two institutions were interviewed using a grounded theory approach. Data were analyzed inductively and iteratively to identify persistent themes. Students made clear and mutually exclusive distinctions between definitions of success in college and success in learning on the basis of two dimensions--the ownership of knowledge and the perceived potentiality or actuality of its use. Six themes emerged about factors identified as either contributing or hindering adults' success in college and learning: (1) experience, (2) maturity, (3) motivation, (4) self-monitoring ability, (5) reinforcement systems; and (6) classroom experiences. The study's findings support the need for new conceptualization of outcomes and the factors associated with these for increasingly diverse student bodies. The interview guide is appended. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/DB)
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 Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).