Improving the College Graduation Rate

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Submitted By lmart47
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Improving College Graduation Rates:
A Focus on Adult Learners
Lloyd D. Martin II
Western Governors University




Improving College Graduation Rates: A Focus On Adult Learners
The increasing concern of declining college graduation rates has become a significant issue across the nation, so much even, that it has risen to the top of our current presidential administration’s priority list. Educational institutions and our nation’s leaders have begun the rigorous task of examining the demographics and trends that influence enrollment and retention of students which ultimately determine the success of nation’s graduation rate. Fong (2012) reports that, “Of the three million students who begin U.S. degree programs each year, 1.6 million, or 53 percent never graduate,” (Fong, J. 2012). However, in more recent times, higher education has seen the emerging phenomenon of older working adults returning to college in pursuit of a postsecondary education. This current trend is worthy of examination by universities as an important segment of their student population; this may potentially be able to increase graduation rates of American college graduates. The increasing number of adult learners enrolling in college can solve the problem with the decline in college graduate rates if a better focus on the unique variables on adult learners is made. Pre-assessments of the adult learner upon enrollment and throughout the degree plan, tailored curriculum and increased accessibility to resources which include effective mentorship to guide students toward success will help increase the graduation rate.
Within this essay, I will be using the terms “adult learner” and “non-traditional student” interchangeably. According to Flint (2000), “NCES…...

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