The Value of Experiential Learning Adults seeking to complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees bring a unique perspective to the college classroom — life experiences. For many adult students’ life experiences delayed the ability to attend college but valuable learning occurred by having careers, raising families, and traveling. Schooling in the traditional sense is void of knowledge unless academic teachings can be experienced and practiced in real-life (Carroll, 2015). While not all life experiences can be classified as college-level learning, an adult brings a level of maturity to their studies that are not often seen in the traditional college student. The value of experiential learning can be quantified not only in the adult learner but also in those that choose a second career in teaching. The National Center for Educational Statistics reported an increase of adults enrolling in postsecondary degree programs occurred over a ten-year period from 1980 to 1990. In 1980 students over the age of 25 accounted for 38 percent of the total enrollment while traditional students made up 62 percent. In 1990 the younger population enrolling in colleges dropped 6 percent while older students increased 6 percent. This trend has stayed static through 2015 and remains so through 2026 projections (NCES, 2015). Adults who reenter the college classroom differ from their traditional student counterparts because adults juggle multiple life roles. These roles could include
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Adult students applying to college is more common than faculty thinks. Colleges are seeing more adults returning to college to complete a degree that they began when they were younger. The adult student is working longer in life and needs to keep up with their competition which is a younger group and better-qualified. The younger employee is technical savvy and has graduated from college with new ideas to share in the workforce. The research that will be included in this paper will focus on the conceptual framework.
According to Lundberg (2003), “adult students are one of the most rapidly growing segments of today’s college student population, making up approximately 40% of all college students” (665).
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate my experiential learning of personal and social adjustments when confronted with life-changing events and the mechanisms utilized to effectively cope from traumatic experiences. The components supporting this piece include: confronting the problem, learning to adapt and cope, cultivating self-worth, the importance of a support system and over time change influencers. To support my understanding of personal and social adjustments, I will use the content of this paper to speak as evidence of my experiential learning derived from confronting a long-term spiritual abuse situation and process of unraveling and coping from its affects.
Over the last decade there has been a steady rise in college and university enrollments. The vast majority of the enrollees are from the 25 to 40 age bracket, and this trend is only expected to continue into the foreseeable future. The trend has been recognized and embraced by colleges and universities all of the country, and as a result the traditional educational methodologies have been adapted to accommodate the adult learners of today.
Recent studies indicate an increase in the numbers of nontraditional students returning to colleges; the enrollment of students ages 25 and older rose by 13 percent between 1997 and 2007. NCES (2009) reported that from 2006 to 2017, there will be a continual increase in enrollment to nearly 20 percent for this age group (Bonner et al., 2015; Kenner & Weinerman, 2011; Ross-Gordon, 2011). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are 162.3 million people in the United States and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning claims that 38 million working adults 25 and older have taken some college courses but have not completed a degree (Bergman et al., 2014). Today, more
In recent years, United States universities have experienced a large influx of enrollees over the age of 25, a group referred to as non-traditional students. After America’s relatively recent economic troubles, nearly all citizens feel as though higher learning is an important tool for financial success. Many non-traditional students include first-time students, and more than half of the student body over the age of 25 consists of stay at home mom attending online classes.
College campuses are swarming with “new adults”, most of whom are still in their teens and are often living on their own for the very first time. They are learning how to make decisions for themselves and are figuring out who they want to become. College is designed to help them in this process. It allows them to mature and grow through experiences and trial and error. High stress, threat to one’s previous identity through failures, and
In the midst of many ambitious national and state level college completion initiatives, Sallie Glickman, David Thornburgh, and Hadass Sheffer joined together in creating Graduate! Philadelphia. With their extensive background experience in workforce and economic development as well as higher education, they sought to raise awareness of the need for more adults to complete college (Graduate Philadelphia, 2015). While attention has historically been focused on the “traditional” college student, Graduate! Philadelphia has focused their attention on adults who have already acquired some college credit but never earned their degrees. Some refer to them as “near completers” or “ready adults” but for G!P they prefer to refer to this unique population
Historically, the quintessential college student leaves home at the age of 18 to live on a college campus for four years. These students have long been labeled as ‘Traditional’ college students with the learning category outliers such as Adult, Online, Part Time, and those working Full Time while earning a degree being considered Non-Traditional and a minority amongst students. However, the learning demographic across the United States is shifting, and our ‘Traditional’ learners have become a minority. According to the Department of Education, in 2011 there were 17.6 million undergraduates enrolled in American Higher Learning. However, just fifteen percent of
According to current estimates approximately 75 percent of college students are now nontraditional students – older than 25, attending school part time, and having delayed entry or reentry into college for a variety of personal reasons. Post secondary education is needed by such students to develop their careers and to acquire knowledge and skills required by a constantly changing global society. This trend is not restricted to North America; it is a worldwide phenomenon.
Today's workers need to prepare with continuous job training, growth and development. Given the increased age, experiences and diverse lifestyles of the working population, it is understandable that adult education practices must move beyond the traditional model of teachers and learners, while new skills, working with local companies to match their needs and sending staff into factories and other workplaces to spread the word about state and federal retraining assistance. While trying to decide how to rebuild your life after loss of employment and lack of job opportunities following the current recession, or devastated from a divorce? Adult students faced with other struggles; studies have shown that older adult students face different hurdles, family problems, and poor self-image. These along with poor time management, weaker academic preparation and a need for remediation an increased focus on adult learners and their needs can help. (armour)
By estimate, more than 47% of enrollees in U.S. higher education institutions can be classified as adult learners (Creighton & Hudson, 2002). Adults pursue higher education for various reasons including personal enrichment, change of career, or a requirement for promotion. The majority of adult students enroll in community colleges to fulfill educational and training needs. Adult students may face barriers when attempting to enroll in college. Program planners must understand characteristics of adult students, recognize social issues, and identify with cultural issues to effectively develop training and degree programs that not only attract students, but also encourage student retention. Community colleges have the ability to reduce or eliminate student barriers and subsequently prepare adults for the workforce.
Although Roger’s experiential learning theory has provided many examples of advantages, there are some limitations that follow in his outlined theory. When discussing the implications of experiential learning, we often wonder what the full meaning represents. “The main problem about experience, a problem which precedes questions about how we can learn best from experience, lies in a double unsaid: a silence about the implication of experience in language and a silence about the implication of experiential learning in discourse” (Boud, Cohen & Walker, 1993, p. 169). This author explains that through the very subconscious thoughts, we often approach events believing that they have to acquire a particular meaning. Sometimes
In the reading Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development by David Kolb (1984), he proposed that learning is a cycle process in which individuals learn through their own experiences in life. This notion of the learning cycle in which he was influenced by the ideas of three other theorists (Piaget, Dewey, and Lewinian) called it Experiential Learning Theory. Kolb’s theory was based on how people learned by imputing information and processing the information. Within this two abilities, there are four steps in which Kolb’s believe the learning process occurs. The first one he calls “concrete experience”, in which one actually does the learning right then and now. The second one is “reflective observation” when the learner thinks about what they did as a reflection of the experience. The next step is the “abstract conceptualization”, where the learner makes a generalization of the experience. The last step is “active experimentation”, where the learner puts to practice his/her understanding and adapts to it. The learner does this by taking all the first three steps of the learning cycle and seeing the results (pg. 30). Learning is a process in which individuals learn through trial and error. This process can then be reused with our prior experience to strengthen the outcome of our first experience. It is shaped as a cycle in the way we process information cognitively. This is how I understood of the reading on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory.