Summer Reading: How to help adult students graduate
This summer, Education Dive is providing readers with compilations of stories on a variety of topics that we've published during the past year. Here are four stories about how to retaining and graduating adult learners.
As nontraditional students continue to make up a growing part of the overall college student body, some institutions are rolling the cost of books into tuition to make enrollment easier for busy working adults. “One-stop-shopping” programs allow students to make a single payment, and often have books delivered to the learner's doorstep.
Tufts and Harvard are among universities finding new ways to meet busy professionals' needs. Tufts offers an all-inclusive package for adult students enrolled in its masters of science in engineering management program. Offered through the university’s Gordon Institute, the program provides scheduling to book delivery so students can “focus on learning, not logistics,” according to the university's website.
Harvard's Graduate School of Education also includes the cost of books in its professional executive education programs that are are aimed at teachers and administrators who likely don’t have time to come to campus to buy books and materials, officials said. click here.
Columbia College joined a growing list of institutions to announce price-slashing initiatives for adult learners. The private liberal arts college said it will reduce tuition and book fees to a total of $375 per credit hour beginning this fall for commuter and online undergraduate students.
Billed as the Truition initiative, the program exclude fees for services and resources that adult evening and distance learners do not typically use, such as the student center and recreational facilities. Campus leaders said that by charging the lowest possible price point for classes provides an opportunity to enroll students who are balancing work, life and education. Professional programs run throughout the year, with a total of 650 to 700 students per year, and includes the cost of books and delivering the materials to students ensures learners buy them. To read more, click here.
Darcy Richardson, director of continuing education at EdPlus at Arizona State University, wrote that Institutions looking to meet the growing demand to provide pathways for adult students’ professional success must take an informed, thoughtful approach to developing the courses and materials themselves. Fundamentally, programs must be developed with not only the profile of the adult learner in mind, but also the needs of employers — the skills and characteristics they are looking for in talent. To read more, click here.
Saint Rice, assistant dean of the School of Accelerated Degree Programs at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, wrote that well-thought-out retention strategies can have a positive impact on the personal, professional and academic growth of the students. Adult or non-traditional learners often bring with them a unique set of challenges. Family and work responsibilities, learning challenges, economic limitations and disconnections with campus life are just a few of the challenges faced by many adult learners. Without supports focused on strengthening retention, this demographic will continue to struggle. To read more, click here