Participation of Working Adults in Educational Programs

4 April 2015
An examination of possible institutional barriers to participation of working adults in educational programs.

This paper discusses the characteristics of mature students and the possible barriers that might prevent the participation of mature students in educational programs. The paper then looks at how these barriers and characteristics may affect attrition and persistence.
“For the first time, demographics of American society are such that adults outnumber those under 18, and those adults are older. In 1987, for the first time, Americans over 65 outnumbered those under 25 (Speak and Mocker, 1989). Partly due to age progression and partly due to socio-cultural or environmental influences, individuals over the course of their life span are repeatedly confronted by a series of challenges to their current identity or developmental status that require some form of response (Rogers, 1989). Depending on the interest, motivation and orientation toward achievement of the particular individual, he/he may choose either to advance their personal development or decline to do so and remain with the status quo.”

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