A Critical Review of Research on Adult Education in Higher Education in the U.S. – Current Trends and Issues
These institutions, which are organized as profit-making enterprises (either publicly held, through broad ownership of stock, or privately through more closely held ownership), have shown the fastest enrollment growth over the last three decades.
However, these studies do reflect formative efforts to design and conduct research on the relationship between adult students and undergraduate environments. These efforts reflected a much broader base of early discussions premised upon observational, self-reported belief or institutional research studies.
For example, the three job categories projected by the Bureau ofLabor Statistics to be among the 10 fastest-growingthrough 2014 (as measured by total number of new andvacant positions) and pay a median annual salary over$29,000 (approximately the federal lower living standardincome level for a family of four) all require postsec-ondary credentials (Hecker 2005). Similarly, 15 of the 20occupations predicted to grow the fastest (in terms of per-centage growth in new and vacant positions) require someform of postsecondary education, while nine require aBachelor’s degree or better. All 20 jobs expected to sufferthe greatest decline in openings by 2014 require only on-the-job training (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2005).
For that reason, a considerable number of institutions offering adulteducation work to connect their program to specific employment aims.
Hecker, Daniel. 2005. “Occupational EmploymentProjections to 2014.” Monthly Labor Review Online.Bureau of Labor Statistics. 128(11):70-101.
Hersh, Richard H. 2005. “What Does College Teach?”Atlantic Monthly.
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Washington, DC: GovernmentPrinting Office.Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1996. Life AfterForty: A New Portrait of Today’s—and Tomorrow’s—Postsecondary Students.