What is it about?

Adult students are often an afterthought on many college campuses, as most academic policies, procedures, and support programs are tailored for 18-24 year old, full time college students. Adult students have their own needs and challenges. This study attempts to suss out the differences in these needs and challenges between adult and traditional aged students by using a social capital model to examine their intent to transfer, use of services, and identification of academic barriers.

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Why is it important?

With the declining number of traditional-aged students in the college pipeline, colleges and universities need to increase the number of adult students -- many of whom are transfer students -- on their campuses. However, most institutions do not systematically examine the challenges these students face in their lives both in and out of the classroom. Proper intervention requires proper planning. This article may assist institutions in doing that proper planning.


As a director of transfer at a community college, I saw firsthand how the system was not set up to support the success of this particular group of students -- and this became an area in which I proudly advocated. I hope that others will find this useful.

Dr Michael J Rosenberg
TNV Educational Consulting

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Understanding the Adult Transfer Student—Support, Concerns, and Transfer Student Capital, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, September 2016, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2016.1216907.
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