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Adults as Learners

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Adult learners:

  • usually know why they are here
  • are used to accepting responsibility, organizing tasks and meeting deadlines
  • have experience and learning that can be captured through credit for experiential learning and built on in the design of new studies
  • often are in a position to test what they are learning in their work, home and community.

Adult learners often confront challenges when they return to learning.

While every adult learner's situation is unique, some challenges they face relate to:

  • self-perception
  • motivation
  • managing time/creating space
  • support network creation
  • learning skills.

Mentor-Student Relationships

Mentor-student relationships usually are relatively informal.  Good mentor-student relationships enable the student to become more and more self-sufficient over time.

  • Learn to be a careful listener. It is important to really know your students.
  • Respond promptly and clearly to student work.
  • Set specific content goals for each meeting.
    Keep some kind of log for yourself of each student with whom you are working.
    • Keep track of the resources that you have used when working with a student.

Guiding Adult Independent Study

  • Become aware and make use of neighborhood bookstores, libraries, computer databases, resource centers and the college's bookstore.
  • Make use of a variety of learning modes including individual tutorials by mentors or tutors from inside or outside of the college; group studies, workshops, and residencies sponsored by the college; studies offered by the college's Center for Distance Learning; courses taken at other colleges; other distance learning options.

In most tutorials, students should be in contact with their mentors about once every two to three weeks.