Master's Culminating Experience
The majority of literature dealing with the adult learner concept revolves around teaching methodologies or learning capabilities. While there is some literature on motivation in adult learners, the general assumption is that all those over the age of 25 are similarly motivated and share common perceptions.
To determine whether student perceptions, motivations and needs could be distinguished by age categories, survey results of 936 students at Sinclair Community College were categorized within 4 age cohorts. Results indicate that: 1) both traditionally-aged students as well as non-traditional students share some common perceptions; and 2) cohorts within the non-traditional student population may differ in needs, motivations and perceptions.
Using this information, Sinclair Community College is in a better position to know what additional programs and services are needed to better assist and retain their growing student population.
Patten, J. E.
(1991). Similarities and Differences in the Adult Learner: A Comparison of Student Perceptions Motivations and Needs by Age Cohort. .