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Atlanta Metropolitan State College-2016-Adult Learners/Non-traditional Students/GBMA

Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact: 

This strategy currently impacts 40% (240 of 600) of new freshman, annually. Most of the impact of this strategy will result from increasing access of adult learners to online courses.  Expanding access to online courses increases the options for adult learners to take a wider range of courses as well as increase course load, particularly while managing competing interests (i.e. work and family responsibilities). Collectively, this strategy shortens time to degree completion, and increases rates, which are both very high priorities of AMSC.

Summary of Activities: 

Previous: (1) Four (4) Adult Learner “friendly” online classes were offered in various disciplines during the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters,

Progress: Adult Learner “friendly” online classes increased by 50% (4 to 6). Faculty that teach these courses are specially selected and trained to address the needs and/or challenges specific to Adult Learners. As a result, 60% of faculty are trained in Quality Matters (QM). All online courses have a uniform design aligned with QM standards which promotes student success and softens the transition from course to course. In addition to teaching Adult Learner Courses, Instructors are assigned to mentor students; provide technical assistance (i.e. creating PowerPoint presentations, uploading documents into Dropbox, and assistance with using Smarthinking); student support (i.e. improving study habits, referral to Counseling and Disability, and study groups); and academic support (e.g. tutorial). Because of the Adult Learning Consortium (ALC) grant, mentors are paid a stipend to provide these services. Learning communities are also established to foster peer collaboration and support.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is also an important component of this strategy for assisting adult learners who may have prior learning that qualify for college credits. AMSC has created a special course to assist adult learners in preparing a portfolio to request PLA credits.

Two (2) adult learners completed a portfolio preparation course for FY16, and received prior learning credits (PLA) for 6 credit hours, shortening time to completion, thus reducing tuition/fee costs and time to completion.

Metrics and Measures: 

Baseline measures

  • Enrollment: 549 Headcount (Fall 2014)
  • Pass Rates: 61% (Fall 2014)
  • Completion: (30%) STEM Discipline, (10%) Earned Bachelors
  • Satisfaction Positive Ratings: Instructor Interactions (75%), Peer Interactions (77%),
  • Would Recommend Course (92%-Yes) (Fall 2015)

Interim Measures of Progress

Preliminary Outcomes

  • Enrollment: 534 Headcount (Fall 2015)
  • Pass Rates: 70% (Spring 2015)
  • Completion: (30%) STEM Discipline, (25%) Earned Bachelors
  • Satisfaction Positive Ratings: Instructor Interactions (80%), Peer Interactions (79%), Would Recommend Course (95%-Yes) (Spring 2016)

Measures of Success

  • Metrics: Enrollment, course pass rates, completion, and satisfaction of adult learners
  • 2025 Target: Offer 25 “Adult Friendly” Classes in various disciplines; At least 80% Pass rate;
  • 95% Student Satisfaction Positive Rating
Lessons Learned: 

Serving the Adult Learner population requires tailoring academic endeavors to fit within the demands of life and the real world. AMSC continues to use Adult Learner Satisfaction survey data to improve the on-line learning platform so that it continues to foster healthy interactions among students with peers and instructors.

Available resources play a critical role in the success of the student and Adult Learners experience challenges when resources such as tutoring services or research material are not available within an online platform. AMSC’s online platform offers tutorial services and the ability to chat with instructors. These features are as simple as one click. Plans are underway to embed an eLibrarian into the online Adult Friendly course. This eLibrarian will lead modules equipped with videos and manuals that provide insight and support for conducting scholarly research. Students will also have the ability to chat with the eLibrarian, which will provide real-time support specific to the need of the student

Target increases in access and completion for adult learners (25 years and older), particularly
Point of Contact: 
Dr. Kokila Ravi, Director for Distance Education and Specialized Programs
Contact email: