Adult Viewpoints 2017: Online Learning & the Back-to-School Decision

Sonya Krakoff

As higher education leaders working with adult students, we've long recognized that our student population has a unique set of needs and challenges that sets them apart from what's long been referred to as "traditional" college students - those being 17-22 year olds enrolled full-time at on-campus institutions. However, this so-called "traditional" student is no longer the norm in American higher education: in the last decade, the post-traditional student population - that is, adult learners, many of whom are in the workforce - has grown dramatically, and now makes up 60% of all undergraduate students. Despite these growing numbers, this population of adult students is consistently overlooked when it comes to defining quality, accessibility, and success in a higher education environment.

To better understand the unique needs and challenges of the adult learner, Champlain College Online commissioned a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults without degrees on their perceptions of higher education and online learning. Our survey, Adult Viewpoints 2017: Online Learning & The Back-to-School Decision, uncovers attitudes American adults have towards the effectiveness of higher education as a whole, the motivators and barriers to going back to school, perceptions of online vs. face-to-face learning, and the role of higher education in the future workforce.

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About the Author

Sonya Krakoff

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Sonya Krakoff is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Champlain College Online, where she is the voice behind the CCO blog and helps tell the school's story across multiple digital platforms. Sonya has extensive experience in writing, content marketing, and editing for mission-driven businesses and non-profit organizations, and holds a bachelor's degree in English (with a focus on creative writing) from St. Lawrence University.