Meaningful Community Partnerships for Adult Learners

with NASPA

About This Course

Institutions of higher education today see a population of adult learners growing throughout their academic communities. It is critical to pursue and establish partnerships with external entities that are equally committed to the success of these students. Meaningful partnerships create bridges that span the divide often experienced by these individuals because of the multitude of roles and responsibilities they fulfill in addition to that of being a student. Establishing these partnerships requires an intimate understanding of adult student needs, knowledge of local and national resources, and a willingness to identify common goals and mutually beneficial results.

About the Short Course

This module is a part of the Increasing Adult Learner Completion and Persistence Rates short course. The complete course includes 9 total modules that are each available for purchase individually or as a course bundle.

This course is based on material from Increasing Adult Learner Persistence and Completion Rates: A Guide for Student Affairs Leaders and Practitioners, published and copyrighted by NASPA in 2014. The book was funded by a grant from the Lumina Foundation. Developed by NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Supported by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.

This module is based on the chapter authored by Elizabeth Baldizan and Pam Schreiber.

Although the nine modules available in this course bundle focus on different topics, they send five consistent messages:

  • Colleges and universities need to build on the knowledge and experiences that adult learners bring to their institutions;
  • no one can do it alone: collaboration, both internal and external, matters;
  • student affairs must partner with adult learners to determine what they know, what their goals are, and what they need to succeed;
  • support services must be intentionally designed, intelligently delivered, and thoughtfully assessed; and
  • the future of student affairs may well depend on its ability to understand and effectively leverage technology.

Embedded in each module is another powerful message: The time for incremental change is over.

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