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ERIC Number: ED569325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 276
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-9603-3
The Lived Experience of Older Adult Learners in Community College: A Phenomenological Study
Vermiller, Miriam M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
This study investigated the experience of nine older adult students over 50 years old as they matriculated in the traditional multigenerational classroom at a community college in Central Florida. The college chosen for the study primarily serves traditional students and dual enrollees, but more and more, older adult students are enrolling while seeking an Associate's degree. For over 30 years, researchers have been recommending more inquiry into how older adult students experience this educational journey in a traditional classroom. This subject was chosen to add to that body of knowledge. Moreover, the topic was explored using qualitative methods to gather this information. A qualitative study allowed the researcher to gain insight into the phenomena from those who had first-hand experiential knowledge of the educational process. The results of this study showed that older adult students were surprised at the changes in the educational system since they last attended school. However, they are very successful in adapting to the current college life. Many felt that the multigenerational classroom was beneficial to all the students offering them the opportunity to learn from each other. At the same time, many were disillusioned at the incivility of the student body toward the professors. A significant number were bewildered by today's technology and found even enrolling as a student a daunting process. Age was clearly a consideration for every participant with some limiting their career goals since they were already "so old," while at least 3 of the participants had set their sights on obtaining a doctoral degree. Finances were a concern for many, as they were utilizing school loans or diminishing the family budget for tuition. Despite the challenges facing the older adult student, all the participants were doing well with their studies, and most were on the Dean's list, or eligible for Honor's recognition. [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: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida