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Lifelines, Lenses, and Livelihoods~ Supporting Adult Learners in Higher Education
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Lifelines, Lenses, and Livelihoods~ Supporting Adult Learners in Higher Education

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Presented in January 2007 at Oregon Women in Higher Education conference with Katie Abbott, Lynn Brown, and Jennifer Sasser. In this interactive session, participants considered projections for adult …

Presented in January 2007 at Oregon Women in Higher Education conference with Katie Abbott, Lynn Brown, and Jennifer Sasser. In this interactive session, participants considered projections for adult learners’ participation in higher education in Oregon, and reflected upon how adults’ life circumstances, learning needs, and prior experiences can positively affect institutional practices. The presenters were from Marylhurst University, which was recently awarded the Adult Learning Focused Institution award from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

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  • (5) LARRY DALOZ – HAS WRITTEN EXTENSIVELY ABOUT SUPPORTING AND MENTORING ADULT LEARNERS … FRAMEWORK TO KEEP IN MIND AS WE ARE GIVING FEEDBACK – OR AS WE ARE INTERACTING WITH STUDENTS AROUND ANYTHING! REMEMBER THE EMOTIONS INVOLVED .. AND … OUR GOALS! THE KEY: BALANCE B/T GROWTH & CHALLENGE
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    • 1. Lifelines, Lenses, and Livelihoods~ Supporting Adult Learners in Higher Education Katie Abbott, Melanie Booth, Lynn Brown, & Jennifer Sasser Marylhurst University
    • 2. About Us
      • Jennifer Sasser
        • Chair, Department of Human Sciences & Faculty Council
      • Katie Abbott
        • Director of Admissions
      • Melanie Booth
        • Director of Learning Assessment Center & Prior Learning Assessment Program
      • Lynn Brown
        • Coordinator of Career Services & Internship Program
      • Each of us also serves as advisors to our learners.
    • 3. About Marylhurst University
      • Liberal Arts higher educational institution since 1893
      • Lifelong learning institution for men and women since 1974
      • “ Dedicated to making innovative post-secondary education accessible to self-directed students of any age.”
      • Average age of students: 38
    • 4. Small Group Discussion Questions
      • What do you believe are some characteristics of adults as college students? (3 minutes only please)
      • Which of these characteristics might support them as learners? (3 minutes please)
      • Which of these characteristics might challenge them as learners? (3 minutes please)
      • How might these characteristics be important for institutions to pay attention to? (3 minutes please)
    • 5. Adult Learners - A Definition
      • Not age-related – though age and experience are relevant.
      • Not stage-related – though maturity and development are relevant.
      • “ Adult Learner” as defined by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning:
        • Students “who have assumed major life responsibilities and commitments, such as work, family, and community activities” (Flint & Associates, 1999, p. ix).
    • 6. Trends & Projections
      • The “adult learner" profile is becoming more complex and varied.
      • With the emerging trend of Baby Boomers returning to higher education will come a new and complex mix of opportunities and challenges.
      • In fact, the notion of the non-traditional student might be outmoded, especially as adult learners are becoming the norm across the entire higher education landscape.
    • 7. Implications for Admissions and Outreach
      • Transfer credit policies acknowledge previous learning.
      • Entry advising is more than an academic plan.
      • Limiting administrative barriers helps students focus on the more significant challenges of balancing school with their other commitments.
    • 8. Implications for Learning and Assessment
      • New learning is influenced by prior learning.
      • Diverse assessment practices best support diverse learners.
      • Andragogical assumptions, such as adults’ self-directed nature, can be harmful when applied across the board.
    • 9. Implications for Teaching and Advising
      • Applied, active, and integrated learning activities are critical in designing curriculum.
      • Opportunities for reflection on learning and on self as learner and citizen support continued development.
      • Advising requires paying attention to the whole person, not just the “student” part of the learner.
    • 10. Implications for Career Services
      • Help learners become of aware of how to translate what they are learning to what is happening in the labor market.
      • Support students as they experience the ambiguity of professional transition.
      • Facilitate opportunities for networking and mentoring.
      • Explore with students the art of life/work balance.
    • 11. Support & Challenge S U P P O R T C H A L L E N G E Low High High Daloz, L. (1986) Stasis Retreat Confirmation GROWTH
    • 12. Small Group Reflection
      • Talking with members of your original small group, please reflect on your earlier conversation in light of these ideas about supporting adult learners in higher education.
        • (5 minutes only please)
    • 13. Implications for Us as Women University Educators
      • Engage in critical reflective practice for continual learning about our students, ourselves, and our institutions.
      • Acknowledge the “heavy lifting” that working with adult learners can require.
      • Provide support and challenge for each other.
    • 14. Session Reflections
      • As time will allow, please feel free to share your reflections, ideas, or questions with the whole group.
      • Please complete an evaluation of this session.
      THANKS FOR JOINING US!

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