June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Educational Research and Methods
The Adult Learner Pathways to Prosperity through STEM research project is being developed to investigate and understand how, and to what extent, motivation, determination, self-control, and grit factors into adult learners’ pursuit of a postsecondary STEM certificate/degree program in a high demand occupation (e.g., healthcare, information technology, engineering, and logistics). The program will target adult learners who are active participants in a college access and transition program in a large urban setting in the southwest. A local postsecondary institution is working to provide support to high need, low socioeconomic families to fund college degree completion. The program represents the potential to be scalable and replicable across the United States.
The intellectual merit of the Adult Learner Pathways to Prosperity through STEM (ALLPS) research project is based upon its primary goal to investigate and understand the impact of situational and dispositional barriers among adult learners. The intellectual merit of this project is further substantiated in the need to better understand the drivers that influence successful postsecondary placement, matriculation, retention, and graduation among adult learners pursuing a STEM based degree program and those who are working to complete remediation through developmental mathematics courses. Understanding these motivators and drivers can serve to further advance prosperity among this growing group of STEM learners and those students who must complete developmental math courses. Proper support of adult learners’ academic and career transition needs which can lead to increased prosperity is contingent upon understanding the levels of individual motivation, determination, self-control, and grit.
The Adult Learner Pathways to Prosperity through STEM (ALPPS) research project is being divided into three distinct areas of work that will include the following components: 1. Development of an evidenced-based program that supports adult learner transition and success as they pursue degrees in STEM fields, 2. Delivery of direct student services as researchable interventions to support adult learner success in postsecondary STEM fields, and 3. Execution of a rigorous research project that will utilize mixed methods approaches to measure and examine the impact of adult learner motivation, determination, self-control, and grit that will inform evidence-based approaches for improving success of adult learners in STEM degree programs, including success in mathematics courses.
Adult Learner Pathways to Prosperity through STEM research project will be a mixed-methods study that will begin with qualitative data collection to inform the design of project interventions and creation or adoption of quantitative instruments. This exploratory study will employ case study methodology. Case study methodology is appropriate for this research study where a contemporary problem will be investigated through several sources of data. It is anticipated that the results of this study will inform future research regarding adult learner motivation, determination, self-control, and grit for adult learners seeking STEM credentials in postsecondary education. The evidenced-based practices related to the interventions in this study will be both replicable and scalable to other postsecondary institutions.
Conway, D., & Deggs, D. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Adult Learner Pathways to Prosperity through STEM Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33590
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