1st Edition

Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education Challenges and Opportunities

    240 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education offers deep insights into how to attract, teach, support, and retain students over the age of 25 – an important yet often overlooked student group.

    Comprehensive in scope, this book covers all the main aspects of adult students’ relationships with higher education institutions: recruitment, admissions, and financing; course and program provision and teaching approaches; and student support, retention, and completion. The discussion is bolstered by chapters of analysis on adult student demographics (including both diversities and commonalities), exploration of leadership challenges, and discussion of measurements of success. Drawing from the most up-to-date research as well as practical experience and descriptions of best practices by programs historically serving adults, the authors provide a broad set of strategies and recommendations to place adult students at the center of the educational process.

      Higher education leaders, practitioners, and administrators will find this book an invaluable resource as they seek to better account for and support this key student group, which now comprises approximately 30% of the US undergraduate population.

      Preface  1. Introduction  2. Understanding Adult Learners  3. Rethinking Admissions and Recruitment for the Adult Student  4. The Challenges of Financial Support for Adult Students  5. Institutions and Programs designed with adult students in Mind: Past and Present  6. Teaching Adult Learners in Higher Education  7. Academic Advising and Support Services and Adult Learners  8. Non-academic Supports for Adults  9. Student Success: Issues related to Persistence and Completion  10. Adult Undergraduate Collegiate Outcomes  11. The Leadership Challenge: Serving Adults in a Collegiate World  12. Conclusions, Trends, and future Directions


      Amy D. Rose is Emeritus Professor of adult education at Northern Illinois University. She has writes about issues related to adult education history and policy. She was a co-editor of the Handbook of Adult Continuing Education: 2010 Edition and a co-author of Professional Foundations of Adult and Continuing Education (2017), which won the Cyril Houle award from the American Association for Adult Education (AAACE). She served as a co-editor of the Adult Education Quarterly and is presently a co-editor of Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy. In addition, she has served as a president of AAACE

      Jovita M. Ross-Gordon is Distinguished Professor Emerita at Texas State University. She is the author/coauthor or editor/coeditor of several books including SuperVision and instructional leadership: A developmental approach (11th ed., in press, 2023) and Foundations of Adult and Continuing Education (2017). She has also published numerous chapters, articles, and proceedings on adult/higher education as well as on equity as related to race, gender, and (dis)ability. Her honors include Texas State University Graduate College Outstanding Mentor (2019); the Cyril O. Houle Award, Outstanding Literature in Adult Education, (2018); the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (2015) and the Career Achievement Award of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education (2013).

      Carol E. Kasworm is W. Dallas Herring Emerita Professor of Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University. She has engaged in leadership, administration, instructional, and program development efforts in faculty and academic administrative roles at North Carolina State University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston-Clear Lake, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of South Florida, University of Georgia, and Michigan State University. Her main research and writing interests have focused upon the adult undergraduate experience. Her scholarship has included a number of foundational texts, book chapters, journal articles and proceedings, as well as a number of honors.

      "In Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education, Rose, Ross-Gordon, and Kasworm dig deep into lived experiences of non-traditional adult learners (NAL), dispelling past assumptions about motivations, interests, and circumstances resulting in departure or retention from academic pursuits. They critique existing policies and practices leading to a comprehensive future agenda for educators and academic leaders to create learning environments that engage and support NALs. A must read!"
      Marilyn Amey, Assistant Provost Faculty Development, Michigan State University

      "Adult learners in higher education have long been marginalized and marked as "cash cows". Using previous research, Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education highlights the comprehensive adult learner experience and the multi-layered issues in higher education and governmental policy that create hurdles or clear pathways. The wide-ranging research makes this the best book on adult learners in higher education. For those who desire to effect change and create an embracing higher education environment for all learners, this is a must read."
      Royce Ann Collins, Professor of Adult Learning and Leadership, Kansas State University

      "What a hugely important volume! Encyclopedic in scope, Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education reminds us of the multiple domains we must consider if we want to effectively respond to a diverse world of adults in higher education today. How vital to have a single resource that gathers rich discussions of principles, practices, policies, history, and challenges that a true welcoming of adults demands. We are so lucky to have it."
      Alan Mandell, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY Empire State University

      "Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education is essential reading for educators, administrators, and policymakers striving to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for adult learners in higher education. Eminent scholars Rose, Ross-Gordon, and Kasworm offer a comprehensive and insightful analysis of current research, practices, and policies providing guidance for improving enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates of students over 25. This book is a most timely resource for ensuring adult student success."
      Lorilee R. Sandmann, Professor Emerita, University of Georgia

      "I am delighted to recommend Creating a Place for Adult Learners in Higher Education as an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding and serving adult learners. This comprehensive text provides a wealth of information from current research, best practices, and relevant examples that bring the challenges facing adults in higher education into focus."
      Lemuel W. Watson, Professor of Leadership and Change, Antioch Graduate School of Leadership and Change / Dean Emeriti and Professor Emeriti, Indiana University at Bloomington