Universities and Colleges Must Adapt to Adult Enrollment IncreaseEvoLLLution NewsWire
It is expected that many higher education institutions will need to take steps to ensure they are prepared to handle this increase in the number of adult learners enrolling in their programs. Among the most important of these steps is developing a thorough understanding of the challenges that are faced by non-traditional students.
Colette Atkins, the assistant dean of accelerated programs at Mount Mercy University, said higher education institutions must make concessions to accommodate the specific needs of adult learners.
“It’s not fair to expect an adult student who works to come to class during the day,” she told the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Further, she said the current requirements of some degree programs means adults have to take an unreasonable amount of time to complete their education. In other cases, adult learners could be faced with a lack of academic skills needed to succeed in furthering their education if they have been out of school for a length of time.
This, according to Atkins, indicates the need to make changes to programs that will better suit the needs of these students. To remain competitive and to best serve the growing population of adult learners, it is expected that higher education institutions will need to put processes in place to meet the varying needs of these students.