April 25, 2010, 2:20 pm
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Office of Career and Technical Education
P.O. Box 30712
Lansing, MI 48909
Telephone: 517.373.3373
Fax: 517.373.8776

Michigan Center for Career and Technical Education
Ferris State University
Bishop Hall, 1349 Cramer Circle
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Telephone: 888.591.2789
Fax: 231.591.2043

Non-Traditional Students


Below are links to articles related to non-traditional students in different educational arenas. You may read the abstracts, and if you wish, access the full-text article by clicking on the link listed.

A Constructivist Basis for Teaching and Teacher Education: A Framework for Program Development and Research on Graduates(PDF 974KB) *Alternative Teacher Certification; Change Strategies; *Constructivism (Learning); Educational Change; Elementary Education; Graduate Study; Higher Education; Masters Programs; *Nontraditional Education; Nontraditional Students; Preservice Teacher Education; *Program Development; Student Centered Curriculum
Access to Higher Education for Nontraditional Students and Minorities(PDF 79KB) This article presents gains in enrollment data of women and minorities in higher education. The article argues that although access and opportunity have dramatically improved for women, particularly "reentry" or "nontraditional" learners, the same is not true for minorities, especially African Americans. Nontraditional African American women are showing a higher rate of participation than their male counterparts.
Access to Higher Education: A Conflict Between Landed Interests and Democratic Ideals(PDF 278KB) This case study researches the degree to which the location and services offered by a multi-campus university, geographically situated consistent with the commercial principles of a large mass-market enterprise, facilitate access for educationally underserved groups. First, the necessity of democratizing educational access to an underprivileged population is contrasted against real estate market forces that regularly influence the positioning of such large municipal infrastructure to the detriment of the target population. Based on the site selected for the main campus and the degree of educational services offered by the later establishment of a branch campus, the costs of access for both privileged and underprivileged groups are compared, illustrating the continuing institutional marginalization of the underprivileged in the face of repeated attempts to equitably serve this population.
An Innovative Baccalaureate Degree: Applied Versus Traditional(PDF 61KB) The bachelor of applied arts and sciences (BAAS) degree is a baccalaureate program designed to meet the needs of nontraditional students by allowing technical hours to be transferred for credit to a baccalaureate degree. To determine if the university was positively serving the needs of its constituents, salaries of BAAS graduates were compared to salaries of graduates of the academic bachelor of business administration from 1995 to 2000. No statistical difference was found.
Can Tinto's Student Departure Model Be Applied To Nontraditional Students?(PDF 1.17MB) While Tinto's student departure model has been tested and supported in numerous studies, it has not yet been applied to nontraditional students. This study attempted to find out whether Tinto's model, in particular the concepts of academic and social integration, can explain retention among nontraditional students. Attrition rates of 25 adult learner classes in a college of management and business were calculated. Four independent variables were entered into a regression equation in an attempt to explain attrition from these classes. They were: social, academic, and career integration; and the size of each class. The data showed that classes that were socially integrated and smaller were better able to retain their students than the less socially integrated and larger-sized classes. The data suggest that what keeps adult learners in educational programs is the social environment in which the learning takes place.
Community College Puente: A Validating model of Education(PDF 101KB) Employing Rendón’s theory of validation, the validating elements in Community College Puente are identified. Implications for promoting access, use of involvement and validation theory, and employment of learning theory for nontraditional student populations are presented.
Evidence of the Validity of the PPST for Non-Traditional College Students(PDF 512KB) Correlation coefficients and coefficients of determination were calculated for PPST subtest scores for three age groups of college students. PPST reading, math, and writing scores from a sample of 800 university students in teacher education were used for the analysis. In general, correlation coefficients were higher for students 23 years or younger. Coefficients were much lower for students 30 years of age or older. Coefficients of determination suggested that the PPST reading and writing subtest scores account for a sizable about of variation in college GPA for students 23 and younger (.21 and .22), but PPST reading and math accounted for relatively little variation in GPA for students 30 years or older (.06 and .04). The authors suggest that universities with large enrollments of older, non-traditional students in teacher education programs further examine the validity of using some subtests of the PPST in the decision-making process.
Individual choice and unequal participation in higher education(PDF 141KB) Does the unequal participation of non-traditional students in higher education indicate social injustice, even if it can be traced back to individuals' choices? Drawing on luck egalitarian approaches, this article suggests that an answer to this question must take into account the effects of unequal brute luck on educational choices. I use a framework based on expected utility theory to analyze qualitative studies on educational choice. This reveals a variety of mechanisms through which differences in background conditions make non-traditional students less likely to apply to university and/or particular institutions; the unequal participation of nontraditional students in higher education remains a problem of social justice.
Involvement, Development, and Retention: Theoretical Foundations and Potential Extensions for Adult Community College Students(PDF 66KB) The aim of this article is to orient those interested in adult community college student research to a wide array of discourses and theoretical tools that can help us understand the underlying complexity of the problems faced by this often-marginalized group. Reviewed are categories of theory about student involvement and engagement, student development, and adult learning that should inform how we educate adult community college students. This article concludes with a discussion of how all these theories, taken together, can improve adult education in community colleges.
Metacognitive Differences between Traditional-Age and Nontraditional-Age College Students(PDF 1.44MB) This study investigated aspects of metacognition and motivation that may distinguish the learning processes of adults in higher education from those of traditional-age students. Developmental changes in metacognitive and motivational variables and their relationship to course performance were examined for traditional-age (18-23 years) and nontraditional-age (24-64 years) male and female college students, who completed self-report measures of study skills, motivation, and memory ability. Older students reported more use of two higher level study strategies: generation of constructive information and hyperprocessing. Negative correlations, especially for male students, were found between reported use of several strategies and midterm course performance. Developmental changes in the efficiency of strategy use and the lack of a match between strategy use and the type of course assessment are discussed as possible explanations for these findings. Findings of the study suggest that educators in higher education will need to respond pedagogically to differences in the motivation and learning processes of nontraditional students.
Motivation, Interest, and Positive Affect in Traditional and Nontraditional Undergraduate Students(PDF 93KB) This study compares affective and motivational components of academic life for traditional and nontraditional university undergraduates. Traditional students are defined as those aged 21 and younger, who are most likely to have followed an unbroken linear path through the education system, whereas nontraditional students are defined as those aged 28 and older, for whom the undergraduate experience is not necessarily age normative. A total of 300 undergraduates ranging in age from 18 to 60 years were assessed on measures of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to learn, interest, and positive affect. Nontraditional students reported higher levels of intrinsic motivation for learning than did traditional students. Intrinsic motivation correlated with positive affect more strongly for nontraditional than for traditional students. For all students, interest and age emerged as significant predictors of intrinsic motivation to learn, and both interest and intrinsic motivation significantly predicted positive affect.
Predicting Role Conflict, Overload and Contagion in Adult Women University Students with Families and Jobs(PDF 1.46MB) Many adult women studying at universities face difficulties related to their multiple roles, yet little is known about vulnerable groups or supportive responses. This study of 443 women with jobs and families enrolled in adult education, social work, or nursing identified to what extent life situations, institutional supports, and perceived demands and support systems predict role conflict, overload, and contagion. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify predictors. Income was the only life situation predictor, with lower income increasing vulnerability to role conflict. Perceived intensity of student demands was the strongest predictor of conflict, overload and contagion, with family and job demands next. Use of distance education eased conflict and contagion but some other university adaptations may increase vulnerability. Adult educators should press for increased access to adequate financial support and distance education, while continuing to evaluate the usefulness of other institutional supports for different nontraditional students.
Self-Identity Modification and Intent to Return: Baby Boomers Reinvent Themselves Using the Community College(PDF 1006KB) This study examines the value importance to baby boomers of the community college as a means to reinvent or modify self-view and how value importance influences intent to return to the college for further educational services. Understanding the reinvention-self-identity modification phenomenon can help institutions create more satisfying environments for baby boomer consumers
Sometimes You Feel You're in Niche Time: The Personal Tutor System, a Case Study(PDF 80KB) In the light of the move to mass higher education, this article explores the necessity for supporting all students, but especially those non-traditional students who increasingly form the student body. It demonstrates this by presenting an empirical study of the personal tutor system in one of the faculties in a ‘new’ university in the north-west of England, drawing upon in-depth interviews with both students and tutors. The article also cites contributions from other universities as a comparison. The research incorporates some models of support systems and suggests a way forward.
Support Systems, Psychological Functioning, and Academic Performance of Nontraditional Female Students(PDF 1.5MB) Traditional (18-22 years of age) and nontraditional (35-44 years of age)female students were compared on various aspects of their social support systems, child care, psychological functioning (depression and anxiety), and academic performance. Traditional students exhibited poorer psychological functioning when they were less satisfied with their emotional support network. In contrast, psychological functioning within the nontraditional students was independent of the amount and satisfaction with their emotional and instrumental social support resources. Despite having fewer sources of support, nontraditional students reported better academic performance than did the traditional students.
Tales of Risk, of Deliverance, and the Redemption of Learning(PDF 868KB) Retrospect: 20 years of teaching at-risk students urges collaborative learning and teaching, interdisciplinary approach.
The Challenge of Diversity: Anthropological Perspectives on University Culture(PDF 958KB) Higher Education; Institutional Mission; *Minority Groups; *Nontraditional Students; *Organizational Change; *Organizational Climate; *Student College Relationship
Three School-University Partnerships for Teacher Development(PDF 1.46MB) A formal, contractual school-university partnership is described that has evolved over 25 years through an ongoing conversation among district teachers and administrators, local teacher federation members and leaders, and college faculty and administrators. The article focuses on the exchange of services agreement that funds the partnership at no cost to either party, a brief description of three programs that have grown out of the complementary needs of the parties to the partnership, and the benefits that have accrued to the schools, the university, and the individuals involved.