New study captures the voices of adult learners and highlights 13 actionable steps to support their learning endeavors

4 recommendations to improve adult learners’ experiences


New study captures the voices of adult learners and highlights 13 actionable steps to support their learning endeavors

A new study captures the voices of adult learners and highlights ways higher education institutions can help them navigate unique challenges and provide needed support now and in the future.

Between August and October 2020, the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Urban Education Research Center (UERC) and The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) conducted 18 focus groups with faculty, administrators, and adult learners from 16 institutions of the Kansas City Scholars Postsecondary Network. The study, made possible with support from The DeBruce Foundation, included 82 faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as 61 adult learners.

The study was conducted to address two research questions: How has COVID-19 specifically affected adult learners? And, how can higher education institutions address their needs during this unique time?

After analyzing the data, the research team included in the report four key recommendations with actionable steps–13 steps in total–for implementation.

These key recommendations, drawn from focus groups during a pandemic, offer institutional leaders across the country not only immediate guidance but also will help postsecondary institutions improve future practices long after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.

Laura Ascione