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ERIC Number: EJ1073136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
Empowering the Non-Traditional College Student and Bridging the "Digital Divide"
Jesnek, Lindsey M.
Contemporary Issues in Education Research, v5 n1 p1-8 2012
Non-traditional student enrollment, especially at community colleges, has markedly risen in the last ten years due to national unemployment rates, the current economic climate, and employer demand for computer-literate employees. While university instructors struggle to constantly adapt their course materials to incorporate updates in software modules, various online learning systems, and consumer gadgets, they must also troubleshoot the obstacles inherent in their changing class rosters. Functioning under the definition of "non-traditional" as students over the age of 25 who are often first-generation college enrollees, displaced from their previous careers due unforeseen layoffs, or desperate to update their résumés by earning an advanced certification or degree in order to ensure job security, this paper examines the lagging response of higher education institutions to appropriately manage the widening "digital divide". The clear dissonance between typical non-traditional student computer competency and typical traditional student computer competency specifically informs this examination. In response to the amalgamated complications revealed in the non-traditional student?s charge to function successfully within a technologically-driven university environment, practical application strategies in the form of pre-enrollment computer competency placement testing and the implementation of required, degree-credit introductory computer courses must be established as a national initiative in order to formalize the concerted effort needed to encourage the overall academic success of non-traditional students nationwide.
Descriptors: Nontraditional Students, Computer Literacy, Computer Software, Adult Students, First Generation College Students, Higher Education, Introductory Courses, Academic Achievement, Student Placement, Tests, Online Systems, Job Security, Community Colleges, Unemployment
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail: Staff@CluteInstitute.com; Web site: http://www.cluteinstitute.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Mississippi