Adult Viewpoints 2017: Online Learning & the Back-to-School Decision
As higher education leaders working with adult students, we've long recognized that our student population has a unique set of needs and challenges that sets them apart from what's long been referred to as "traditional" college students - those being 17-22 year olds enrolled full-time at on-campus institutions. However, this so-called "traditional" student is no longer the norm in American higher education: in the last decade, the post-traditional student population - that is, adult learners, many of whom are in the workforce - has grown dramatically, and now makes up 60% of all undergraduate students. Despite these growing numbers, this population of adult students is consistently overlooked when it comes to defining quality, accessibility, and success in a higher education environment.
To better understand the unique needs and challenges of the adult learner, Champlain College Online commissioned a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults without degrees on their perceptions of higher education and online learning. Our survey, Adult Viewpoints 2017: Online Learning & The Back-to-School Decision, uncovers attitudes American adults have towards the effectiveness of higher education as a whole, the motivators and barriers to going back to school, perceptions of online vs. face-to-face learning, and the role of higher education in the future workforce.