The Value Of Experiential Learning

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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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