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Serving Adult Learners Models for Effective Practice Carolyn J. Palmer Jeannette M. Passmore John L. Garland ACPA National Convention Washington, D.C.

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Presentation on theme: "Serving Adult Learners Models for Effective Practice Carolyn J. Palmer Jeannette M. Passmore John L. Garland ACPA National Convention Washington, D.C."— Presentation transcript:

1 Serving Adult Learners Models for Effective Practice Carolyn J. Palmer Jeannette M. Passmore John L. Garland ACPA National Convention Washington, D.C. March 2009

2 Introductions Who are we? Who are you? Who are adult learners? Why are we talking about them?

3 Inspiration Presentation inspired by two books: Serving Adult Learners: A Handbook for Effective Practice (Palmer, Bonnet, & Garland, 2008) Improving Higher Education Environments for Adults (Schlossberg, Lynch, & Chickering, 1989)

4 Moving In Moving In– Functional Areas Recruiting and Admissions Financial Aid Orientation

5 Recruiting and Admissions Perceptions of college Validating prior & experiential Learning Services Bringing it all together

6 Financial Aid Federal barriers Communication Non-degree seeking students

7 Orientation Time Guests Technology What to include

8 Moving Through Moving Through – Functional Areas Counseling Services Advising Campus Activities Learning Assistance Housing Service Learning Studying Abroad

9 Counseling Services for Adult Learners How student needs have shaped college counseling services Counseling needs of adult learners Examples of good practice

10 Advising Adult Learners Needs of adult learners related to academic advising Three basic practices for effective adult learner advising Examples of good practice

11 Campus Activities for Adult Learners Why involvement is important What the Council for the Advancement for Standards says about campus activities and how to adapt these standards for adult learners Examples of good practice

12 Moving On Receives the least attention from higher education (and other organizations) moving on  moving in “starting over again”

13 Taking Stock reflection, discussion, real life experiences, internships, culminating projects, capstone courses, etc. help to answer three fundamental questions: 1. What? 2.So what? 3.Now what?

14 Developmental Vectors Revisited Five particularly important: 1.Competence 2.Autonomy 3.Identity 4.Relationships 5.Purpose

15 Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (and issues related to them) Employment (new, same, PT-FT, none) Service (Peace Corps, RSVP, church- related, public office, military, etc.) Education (grad/professional school, job training program, internship supplemental coursework, etc.) Moving (effects on self and others) Community involvements Partnerships, marriage, children

16 Discussion What are your most valuable tools in working with adult learners? What areas would you like to see discussed in the future? Questions?

17 Contact Us Presenter contact information: – Jeannette M. Passmore Graduate Student Site owner: – A comprehensive resource for professionals working with nontraditional students. (Under development, please visit often.) – Carolyn J. Palmer Assistant Professor – Bowling Green State University Scholar – National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs – John L. Garland Assistant Professor – Alabama State University Scholar – National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs For more information about Serving Adult Learners: A Handbook for Effective Practice Please visit the National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs at


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