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A case study of undergraduate adult learners' student services experiences in a traditional student serving university
McCully. Lisa Frances
Ludvik, Marilee BrescianiHarris, III, FrankMcFarlane, Fred
xi, 144 pages
Increasing numbers of U.S. colleges and universities are offering and developing programs designed to attract adult students to their campuses. The question remains as to how, why, and if at all, student services are being used by the nontraditional student population and whether administrators know how and why these services are being used. The purpose of this case study was to explore the experience of undergraduate adult students who utilize student services at a traditional student serving institution. This study looked at what contributed to the decision to utilize services and how the use of these services influenced the students' perceived academic progress. Additionally, this study explored how and why adult students are utilizing services from the perspective of student affairs and academic affairs administrators. Ten undergraduate adult learners and five university administrators explored the experiences of adult learners' use of student services at a traditional serving institution. The findings of this study demonstrated that the successful adult learner at this case study institution is assertive in selecting which services to utilize. Successful adult learners at this institution self-advocate for their needs, and they create their own community on-campus. Additionally, findings from interviews with administrators and a document analysis of the university's strategic plan and other materials found that the institution is not focused on supporting the adult learner, which provides significant implications for the nontraditional adult student who does not fit the successful assertive and self-advocate model of currently persisting adult students.
San Diego State University
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) San Diego State University, 2015
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