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ERIC Number: ED519059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 259
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-8099-4
Engagement of Adult Undergraduates: Insights from the National Survey of Student Engagement
Southerland, J. Nathaniel
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
Adults are participating in all levels of higher education in increasing numbers due to a variety of societal, cultural, technological, and economic pressures. While many adult students attend 2-year colleges and technical institutions, 4-year colleges and universities are also enrolling substantial percentages of adult students. Nevertheless, adult college students--those who are functionally independent, have substantial work/life experience, and must balance school demands with extra-institutional obligations--experience low persistence and graduation rates comparative to their nonadult peers at these institutions. The literature on student retention points to the importance of academic integration for adult students. In recent years, student engagement--or participation in a variety of effective educational practices linked to successful outcomes--has been presented as an alternative formulation of academic integration. Prior research points to the importance of student engagement as a critical influence on student retention. The National Survey of Student Engagement [NSSE] measures engagement on five different benchmarks whose relevance for adult students is verified by the adult learning theory literature. This study utilizes data from the 2005 NSSE and correlational research methods to create an operationally useful definition of adult students and to compare their engagement on each of the five benchmarks to that of their nonadult peers. The findings are then explored to suggest refinements to current theory and practice and directions for future research regarding adult students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement