Adult learners have become the majority on many college campuses, but as many as two-thirds of these students do not persist in attaining a degree. Although future labor projections present a positive outlook, an estimated shortage of graduates appears imminent despite the fact that individuals with bachelor’s degrees have greater earning potential, lower unemployment rates, and greater career opportunities. The cause of this persistence problem is examined through analysis of the factors that affect persistence and the enrollment patterns of adult learners.
The diversity of the nontraditional adult population contributes to this predicament of low completion rates as their heterogeneous characteristics creates difficultly in analyzing which factors, in isolation or in combination, can be attributed to the gap in achievement. Moreover, a consistent standard of measuring adult student retention is lacking. Some colleges and universities do not even track degree persistence and completion rates for nontraditional adult students.
The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of nontraditional adult learners to determine how these factors influence a student’s ability to persist toward degree completion. This study examined student demographics, finances, employment, academic records, institutional factors, and enrollment patterns to gain an understanding of what motivates adult students to complete a degree, continue to persist, or to cease enrollment altogether. With this information, institutions of higher learning will be in a better position to determine methods, policies and practices that will encourage, empower and motivate all adult learners to persist in their studies despite any combination of factors putting at risk their potential to graduate. The research design was a quantitative, nonexperimental, correlational, predictive design.
|Commitee:||Dwyer, Patricia M., Fenster, Mark J.|
|School:||Notre Dame of Maryland University|
|Department:||Department of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Adult education|
|Keywords:||Adult learners, Degree attainment, Nontraditional, Persistence, Retention|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be