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Effective Ways to Re-engage Adult Learners

24 - OCTOBER - 2020

One in five adult learners have jobs, family responsibilities and financial constraints. Many adult students take semesters off to sort the pressing issues that are happening in their lives and some do not return to continue their education. It is important for institutions to accelerate efforts in engaging adult learners and place special focus on students who’ve dropped out before completing their degrees. Institutions need to develop strategies to make the learning environment adult-friendly and also facilitate re-engagement of drop-outs, so they can achieve degree completion.

In terms of scheduling, evening, weekend classes is a source of convenience for students, allowing them to continue studying on their days off from job. Offering online courses provides the option of continuing their education from anywhere at any time and motivates working learners to continue their education. Adapting the Prior Learning assessment approaches, examining credits for prior learning, such as that acquired during military service, work experiences or credits for life experiences are a huge influence.

Coming back for the economic gain is a great motivator. Piloting some different approaches on financial policies such as adding financial counselors to advise on financing options and offering support with financial aid and payment plans. Employing career counselors for better advising and counseling students about their career options so they can select the right degree programs and make a sound choice of career. Universities and colleges need to develop and launch an online portal to enable prospective students to find the best guidance for them, developing a university-wide credit-for-prior-learning policy and financial aid policies to remove barriers to degree completion and encourage re-enrollment.

United States Department Of Academic Accreditation has worked to improve continuing education and workforce development; conversing with students, alumni, administrators, faculty and leadership to understand their experiences and acquiring their thoughts on accessibility, scheduling, financial support, career support and a number of other parameters to develop strategies accordingly.

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