Adult students in leadership positions on a two-year college campus: Contributions, involvement, motivation

Everitt F Binns, University of Pennsylvania


Adult students are forming an increasingly larger proportion of the college population. In order to create a sense of belonging, mattering, and persistence to succeed, these adult students need to be involved, not only in their academic endeavors but also in extracurricular activities and in leadership positions. Since the fall of 1984, there has been an increase in the adult student population at the Schuylkill Campus of The Pennsylvania State University and a subsequent rise in those adult students who participate in extracurricular activities and campus leadership positions. This research study examines the involvement and motivation of adult student leaders on a two-year college campus, specifically the Schuylkill Campus, and the contributions these students make as student leaders. Qualitative data from in-depth interviews with eight adult student leaders, nine student services staff members, and five traditional-age student leaders have resulted in over fourteen research findings and eight major conclusion. While one conclusion of this study is that all three participant groups held similar perceptions of adult students, a second major conclusion defines the development of a positive relationship between adult student leaders and traditional-age students. Additional conclusions focus on involvement, motivation, satisfaction, and the contributions adult students make to the two-year college campus. From these conclusions come eight specific recommendations that student service staff members can utilize to increase the participation of adult students in leadership positions. Finally, this study makes suggestions for future research on the topic of adult students in leadership positions on a two-year college campus.

Subject Area

Adult education|Higher education|Educational administration|Continuing education|Higher Education Administration|Community college education

Recommended Citation

Binns, Everitt F, "Adult students in leadership positions on a two-year college campus: Contributions, involvement, motivation" (1990). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9112536.