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Adult Student Persistence

This page provides links to resources created by NCSALL to introduce adult education practitioners to the research on adult student persistence and its implications for practice. The guides are posted as PDF files and they are all self-contained. They each include all the information and relevant supplementary materials, such as readings intended for photocopying, needed to conduct the study circles and seminars.

For multi-session professional development opportunities, use a study circle or several of the seminars:

Learner Persistence in Adult Basic Education
This 9-hour study circle addresses issues of learner persistence, motivation, and retention in adult basic education (ABE). Based on findings from the NCSALL Adult Student Persistence Study, participants engage in an examination of their own interests and experiences with learner motivation and retention, examine strategies of other practitioners, and engage in an activity that models how learners can explore forces in their lives that help or support persistence. By taking part in this study circle, practitioners will gain a deeper understanding of three perspectives on learner persistence and an opportunity to consider how best to listen to learners and to support their efforts to persist.

NCSALL and Goodling Institute Study Circle Guide: Rethinking Instruction and Participation for Adult Basic Education.
This 9-hour study circle addresses issues around organizing learning services for students in ways that make sense for them, and what the research says about it. The focus is on the structure and organization of instruction and how we can broaden the range of options that students have so that classes aren’t the only option.

For single-session professional development opportunities, use one of the seminars:

Helping Adults Persist - PDF
This 3 ½-hour seminar introduces adult education practitioners to the research on adult student persistence, focusing on the positive and negative forces that help and hinder persistence.

Supports and Barriers to Persistence - PDF
In this 4-hour seminar, participants explore reasons why students leave programs and ways to support students, including sponsorship.

Goals and Self-efficacy in Persistence - PDF
This 3 ½-hour seminar introduces adult education practitioners to the four supports to adult student persistence identified in the research study.

Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL