Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring an Accelerated College Program for Adult Learners: A Program Evaluation
by Engleking, Charlene, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2015, 180; 10027093
Abstract (Summary)

Many colleges and universities have expanded their mission to include adult learners. Programs range from scheduling traditional courses in the evening to designing new programs tailored to meet the needs of working adults. Program designers have relied on theorists such, as Mezirow (1991), Houle (1996), and Knowles, Holton, and Swanson (1998), to develop programs that apply adult learning theory. Lindenwood College, now Lindenwood University, established The Lindenwood College for Individualized Education (LCIE) in 1975 to serve adult students in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The program has evolved over the course of 40 years, and this program evaluation evaluated the program effectiveness in its current delivery format.

This program evaluation employed a mixed-method design to answer one main research question and two sub-questions. The main research question asked, How does LCIE, in its current incarnation, address the ideals of adult learning theory, the needs of busy contemporary adult students, and the requirements of the accrediting agency? Sub-question #1 asked, How have LCIE learning processes evolved since 1975? Sub-question #2 asked, Is there congruency between LCIE mission and practice?

The outcome measurement data was gathered through a comparison of pre-test and post-test data collected by the university to assess critical thinking skills of entering and graduating students. The university employed the ETS Proficiency Profile, and a sample of 30 students was extracted from that data set for comparison for this study. The findings showed that the differences between pre-test and post-test scores were not significant.

The process measurement data was gathered through interviews with volunteer faculty (3) and students (9) from the program. A series of interview questions was posed, and the responses coded to identify three emerging themes. The three themes were general satisfaction, the importance of job preparation and career mobility, and program rigor.

The program evaluation found that LCIE is currently applying adult learning theory and there is congruency between the program mission statement and the program practice. The answer to sub-question 1 concerning the changes in the program was inconclusive as the students had not experienced the changes and therefore felt unqualified to comment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Isenberg, Susan
Commitee: Bobo, Luke, Kottmeyer, Rita
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 77/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Adult education, Higher education
Keywords: Adult learning, ETS proficiency profile, Lindenwood college for individualized education, Program evaluation
Publication Number: 10027093
ISBN: 9781339526119
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