The New Majority: Adult Learners in the University

The New Majority: Adult Learners in the University

The New Majority: Adult Learners in the University

The New Majority: Adult Learners in the University

Excerpt

Since World War II when, suddenly, the importance of universities became obvious to the nation, almost every facet of these institutions as partners in the higher education network has been analyzed in detail -- except university continuing education.

Preoccupied with the expansion of its more traditional functions, universities seem scarcely to have noticed a significant change in the character of the student body. The traditional clientele of the university had long been youth aged 18 to 24 engaged in full-time study. But today, adult learners in part-time credit courses and in formal noncredit programs together out- number the full-time student body. These adult learners are the new majority. In a society pushed and pulled by an ever-expanding technology, in which it is no longer feasible to accomplish the whole of one's education for life on the basis of "front end load," this new majority has become a conspicuous and likely permanent part of the universities' clientele.

This book is about the education of these adult learners. Its focus is not the activities which characterize contemporary "extension work." Rather, it is an analysis of the role of the university -- as an element of the higher education network -- in the provision of learning opportunities to adults. As such, its end purpose is to . . .

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