Motivation and Habits of the Adult Student

“Motivation is What Gets You Started, Habit is What Keeps You Going.” – Unknown

Browsing the internet for adult education information, I came across this quote today. In a simple and precise way, this quote describes both the plight and the hopes of the adult learner.

On one hand, adult learners, who are usually hard-working career men and women with other family obligations, are plenty motivated, and move through their own lives with a strong sense of responsibility (this is why they are considering going back to school in the first place). They definitely have the habits of an every day person while ingrained in the daily activities of work, and the nightly activities of family life. They work hard, sometimes spread themselves too thin, but are constantly looking to add more to their own lives, even though they are already busy with dance recitals, fixing school lunches, commutes and a never-ending list of similar activities.

But they are motivated to do more. Our research has shown that the adult learner returns to school for “Fulfillment.” This is the number one motivator for adult learners. Is fulfillment enough on its own? Yes, that is why, despite the dance recitals and commutes, adults consider going back to school in the first place. It is not only an important step for themselves, but for their children and family as well.

But adult learners can be hesitant to go back to school. Why? Most likely, this is because of a very large disconnect, that their habits do not include “school.” We try our best as a program to encourage flexible course choices for students, the ability to learn online from anywhere and to take fast-track (accelerated) courses, which our research proves adults prefer. At the same time, we cannot inspire those habits on part of the adult learner, as they must do it themselves.

Classically, this shows that adults take more effort to recruit and retain than the traditional student. While true, we think that the spending is worth. Adult learners are often more likely to keep their job and seek advancement. They are setting great examples for the future Louisiana workforce, and they are empowering themselves and achieving their own goals. We want to work together with adults to help them, to give them the best and most efficient path to attain their goals. At the same time, we ask those adults to listen to their own motivations, and if that tells them to return to school, then we will do our best to encourage the habits necessary to return to school.

Don’t let the comfort of your daily routine and habits get in the way of earning a degree. Modern technology allows school to meet you halfway and create an environment of habits where you can keep all of your current responsibilities and still get the degree you always wanted.

Let us know what we can do to help.

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