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A Look at Academic Success Coaching: Impact on the Adult Student

Innovation in higher education is ongoing and includes specific, defined interactions with adult students beyond the classroom. Specifically, the model for academic advising has changed, and yet vestiges of the old way have remained for more than 144 years. This legacy is to the detriment of the adults. Advising has…

AUDIO | Addressing the Barriers to Success for Underserved Students

The following interview is with Omid Fotuhi, a project manager and researcher at the Stanford University’s Interventions Lab. Fotuhi’s work focuses on finding ways to scale interventions proven to boost students’ achievement and well-being, while narrowing group disparities, in the higher education context. In the first installment of this two-part…

AUDIO | Understanding Returning Students

The following interview is with Dave Jarrat, vice president of marketing at InsideTrack. InsideTrack was recently part of a major consortium of leading higher education groups, including the American Council for Education and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, investigating completion rates of non-traditional students, a statistic often not…

Three Steps to Improving Student Persistence through High-Touch Strategies

Keeping students on track to graduation is a key strategic performance metric for postsecondary institutions, and as many of us know, persistence is not easily achieved under the best circumstances. Further, many institutions are seeking a marginal change that will ensure graduation rates of 50 percent or more. Applying one-to-one,…

10 Ways To Help Your Online Students Feel at Home With Your Institution

The good news is that about 7 million college students will enroll in online courses this year. The bad news is that the retention rates for online students typically trail those of their on-campus colleagues.[1] There is evidence that stronger student support services — especially targeting the out-of-class experiences of…

Relationships = Retention: Embracing Non-Traditional Students on College Campuses (Part 2)

This is the conclusion of a two-part series by Devora Shamah on how institutions can better serve non-traditional students returning to higher education after stopping out of high school. In the first piece, she outlined some of the reasons why adults will return to higher education after dropping out of…

Relationships = Retention: Embracing Non-Traditional Students on College Campuses (Part 1)

Look around a typical college and you will see a great diversity of students working toward their postsecondary credentials and degrees. While some campuses still predominately serve students who have come directly from high school with the goal of completing college educations before entering the workforce and focusing on family…

Adults and the Higher Education Experience (Part 2)

The following is the conclusion of The EvoLLLution’s two-part email Q&A with Melora Sundt, executive vice dean and clinical education professor at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. In the first installment, Sundt discussed how the social learning experience that comes with the on-campus, face-to-face approach to…

AUDIO | Turning the Focus from Enrollment to Retention

The following interview is with Joni Finney, director of the Institute for Research in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. A former vice president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, Finney is an expert on the rapidly-changing postsecondary space. She recently shared her thoughts on…

AUDIO | Supporting Low-Income Students: Strategies for Retention and Success

The following is the conclusion of a two-part interview with Ben Castleman, assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia. Castleman has done a great deal of research on the summer melt phenomenon, and recently published research exploring a few strategies higher education institutions could put…

AUDIO | Supporting Low-Income Students: Challenges to Retention

The following is the first installment of a two-part interview with Ben Castleman, assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia. Castleman has done extensive research on the “summer melt” phenomenon, and recently published a paper exploring a few strategies higher education institutions could put in…

Using PLA to Improve Veteran Access, Retention and Completion

Many young men and women signed up for the military with a promise of access to educational benefits during their active duty and when they became veterans. Having served as a military liaison for several institutions, I understand the complexity and frustration of trying to navigate the multitude of benefits…

AUDIO | Better Information Critical for Adult Student Retention

The following interview is with James Osborn, a Marine Corps veteran and student at Penn State University. Osborn recently spoke about the value of accelerated evening classes for working adult students. In this interview, he discusses his educational journey and shares insights on how higher education could be restructured to…

AUDIO | Helping Bring Adult Students to the Mountain

The following interview is with Lorraine Prinsky, a trustee and past-president of the Coast Community College District (CCCD). One of the commuter colleges in the CCCD, Orange Coast College (OCC), recently acquired a plot of land to create campus housing. In this interview, Prinsky discusses the issue of campus housing…

AUDIO | Can High Retention Rates Drive Enrollment?

The following interview is with Mike Weigold, associate dean for undergraduate affairs and enrollment management at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Weigold will be speaking at the upcoming Effective Marketing for Online Education Conference on the topic of improving retention and future enrollments through student experience…

AUDIO | Increasing Retention of At-Risk Adults

The following interview is with Steven VandenAvond, associate provost for outreach and adult access at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. VandenAvond recently gave a presentation at the UPCEA Central Conference on strategies higher education institutions can put into place to better support at-risk, non-traditional students. In this interview, VandenAvond expands…

Five Steps to Increase Retention

It is becoming increasingly important for higher education institutions to raise their retention and graduation rates; after all, public funding and consumer trust is increasingly hinging on those statistics. One important piece of advice is not to chase students who are on the way out. Chasing higher retention numbers can…

A Gallon of Milk or a Degree?

Your job is going well. You are in good health. You are able to handle all of your responsibilities. Your life is stable. Things couldn’t be better. Wouldn’t it be great if all your students could say the same? Unfortunately, many, if not most, of our students have many demands…

Looking to Tech-Literacy to Increase Retention

A returning non-traditional student recently approached our Dean of Students, Steve Hensley, to present her personal struggles transitioning back in to the college world. The student’s fear was that she was not as advanced technologically as younger students. We took this concern really seriously and acted fast. Hensley formed a…

Persistence Beneficial for Students and Institutions

Student persistence in higher education is becoming a more visible issue today. A proposed new federal rating system’s broad goal is to determine “how many students at an institution graduate, at a reasonable cost, without a lot of debt, and get a job that enables them to support themselves and their…

Academic Advising: A Critical Element to Adult Student Success

Today, few students studying at colleges and universities fit the image of a ‘traditional’ student. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, growth in the number of students over the age of 24 is far outpacing traditional-aged students. As a result of this shift in…

Three Major Changes for Higher Education Institutions

Recently, I have been reflecting on the most important changes colleges and universities must make to adapt to students behaving more like shoppers in the higher education marketplace. However, before I get to that, I must say I worked in retail for about 15 years and I am not suggesting…

Three Ways to Attract and Retain Adult Learners

Serving adult learners is no longer a side business for many colleges and universities. Local, regional and global economies depend on the continuous education of working adults all over the world. With the impact of a growing number of adults seeking a degree, most institutions have developed and implemented intentional…

Five Changes to Increase Adult Student Success

Enrollment trends have changed the face of American higher education.  The average age of the undergraduate student has crept up to around 25. These older students are more likely to have family and work obligations. Adult students also have different motivations, with a greater focus on immediate application of classes.…

Three Strategies to Better Serve Adult Women in Higher Education

I have been thinking about what kinds of support mechanisms every institution should put into place to encourage more adult women to complete college, and I came to identify three particular approaches that would greatly improve the system. I recognize our higher education institutions are as diverse as the populations…

Bringing Adult Students Into The Mix

As student affairs practitioners, how frequently have we heard students make assertions such as, “I really can’t make that meeting because I have other responsibilities at home,” or, “That time does not work for me because I have to pick up my kids from school”? These statements are completely understandable,…

Strong Advising Critical for Adult Students

As the number of non-traditional students rises at universities, one service that could stand improvement is student advising. Not all universities have offices dedicated to non-traditional students, but they should. My former university had an office for non-traditional students, but the advisors could only discuss general education courses or specific…

Three Hurdles Facing College-Bound Adult Students

Co-written with Elena Gardea | Adult Education Transitions Coordinator, Elgin Community College Across the country, educators are facing the challenge of improving the transition rate of adult education students into postsecondary-level instruction. Before we can make significant progress on this issue, we need to understand the unique barriers impacting their…

Increasing Concern about Access to Higher Education and Matriculation: Obstacles, Frustrations and Strategies

Receiving a college education, developing one’s competencies and continuing lifelong learning is consistently met with fear as the cost of education continues to rise. Educational institutions are combating these high costs with distance education. In a study, 69.1 percent of chief learning officers indicated that online learning is very important…

Psychological Invisibility: Veterans in Higher Education (Part 2)

If universities are committed to student veteran success — beyond access and completion — we need to widen our scope. For starters, we can seek to minimize stigmatization by discussing the unique needs and perspectives of student veterans with our faculty, staff, administrators and students, which are impacted by the…

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