Engagement of Adult Undergraduates: Insights from the National Survey of Student Engagement

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Education Leadership & Policy
Author Southerland, J. Nathaniel
Title Engagement of Adult Undergraduates: Insights from the National Survey of Student Engagement
Date 2010-08
Description Adults are participating in all levels of higher education in increasing numbers due to a variety of societal, cultural, technological, and economic pressures. While many adult students attend 2-year colleges and technical institutions, 4-year colleges and universities are also enrolling substantial percentages of adult students. Nevertheless, adult college students - those who are functionally independent, have substantial work/life experience, and must balance school demands with extra-institutional obligations - experience low persistence and graduation rates comparative to their nonadult peers at these institutions. The literature on student retention points to the importance of academic integration for adult students. In recent years, student engagement - or participation in a variety of effective educational practices linked to successful outcomes - has been presented as an alternative formulation of academic integration. Prior research points to the importance of student engagement as a critical influence on student retention. The National Survey of Student Engagement [NSSE] measures engagement on five different benchmarks whose relevance for adult students is verified by the adult learning theory literature. This study utilizes data from the 2005 NSSE and correlational research methods to create an operationally useful definition of adult students and to compare their engagement on each of the five benchmarks to that of their nonadult peers. The findings are then explored to suggest refinements to current theory and practice and directions for future research regarding adult students.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Adult; Engagement; Persistence; Retention; Student; Undergraduate
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © J. Nathaniel Southerland 2010
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 7,429 bytes
Identifier us-etd2,161278
Source Original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; LC8.5 2010 .S68
ARK ark:/87278/s67375h5
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2019-04-17
ID 193336
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s67375h5
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