Motivation for Participation and Resilience of Non-Traditional Adult Students

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The purpose of this study was to investigate relationship between the motivational orientations of non-traditional adult students to pursuing a degree program in higher education and their resilience in such program. The Education Participation Scale (EPS) was used to measure the motivational orientations of participants.
The Resilience Scale (RS) was used to measure their levels of resilience. Cognitive interest, community service, and professional advancement were found to be the main motivational orientations of non-traditional adult college students.
Participants had high resilience levels. No correlation was found between resilience and motivational orientations. However, a linear combination of demographic factors was significantly related to resilience. Also, resilience was found as a significant predictor of student GPA. The findings from this study provide opportunities for higher education administrators to use motivational orientations, and resilience scales as retention tools.
The growing numbers of adult learners who are returning to college despite challenges that they may face with their daily lives have called upon higher education program administrators to understand the needs of adult learners in a non-static, but dynamic and ever changing context. This also requires that adult education program administrators explore ways and opportunities to better contribute to the academic integration of non-traditional adult students, with respect to the social context of learning. In fact, adults are motivated by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which must be assessed when they enroll to an education program. Also, their resilience to continue with their program despite challenges that could suggest them to give up must be examined closer. Therefore, this session on motivational orientations for participation and resilience of non-traditional adult college students is very critical for adult education program administrators, in the sense that such session can inspire them with creative strategies to improve enrollment and retention.


Keywords: Motivation for Participation, Resilience, Non-Traditional Adult Students
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Emmanuel Jean Francois

Adjunct, Faculty
School of Human Services, Springfield College

Tampa, Florida, USA

I have more than 15 years of professional teaching experience. I am currently an adjunct faculty in the School of Human Services of Springfield College (USA). I teach “World View Analysis”, “Community Organizing”, and “Social Service Network”. Prior to that, I was campus coordinator for an international program on community leadership at the University of South Florida (USA). I am the Executive Director of HOPE, a not-for-profit organization in Florida. I am currently working on my PhD in Adult Education and Human Resource Development at the University of South Florida. I hold a bachelor degree in teaching, and a Master’s degree in organization Management and Leadership. I am an active researcher and writer. I have already published in French, Haitian Creole, and English more than 30 titles, including books, booklets, and guides. This does not take into account articles that I published in newspapers and magazines. Some the most recent publications include: Sharing about Haiti: The Issues of race and color, Dream Model to Start a Small Business, For the Children and for the Future, Negotiational Leadership and Influence Driving Strategies. In addition, I have two peer review articles under consideration:
- Impact of Self-directed Versus Semi-directed Group Study on Experience to Teaching and Learning of Returning College Adult Students
- Validation of the Intercultural Exposure Readiness Survey (ICERS).
My research interests are: academic integration of non-traditional adult college students, Pedagogical research in higher education, globalization, and college and university professors’ perception of global education.

Ref: L09P0096