Chapter 1 Adult Learner Awareness


Starting post-secondary education should fill you with anticipation and excitement.

So glad you’re here!

Congratulations! Whether you are starting a course on Student Success, or just reading a resource on Student Success, you have made an important decision in moving forward in reaching your goals. The goal of this text is to provide ideas, suggestions, and skills that will aid you in being a successful adult learner that will find your studies fruitful and rewarding.

If you’ve decided to move towards your goals through education, you will want to be successful in your studies. You will be investing a great deal of time and resources into your education, so it makes sense to get the most out of it. To be successful not only means achieving good grades, but it means learning useful concepts that will help you in your career and life. This book will help you to learn many things which can contribute to your student success. Take from it the things you feel will be most beneficial to you in your educational journey.

Depending on what kind of student you have been up to this point, achieving student success may mean you may have to do things differently than you have in the past. Some of you have very negative learning experiences which may cause concern over being a student again. Learning as an adult is often a very different experience and many students are surprised at how they can be successful now that they are adults and focused. Everyone has different strengths, different rates of learning, different learning disabilities and abilities, and each learner comes with different levels of education. All these things need to be taken into account to be successful. Learning as an adult is exciting. This module will focus on the many aspects of adult learning that will impact your success.

This module about adult learner awareness helps you identify the specific challenges you may face as an adult learner as well as recognize the advantages of your life experience to enrich your adult learning. It will help you realize the responsibilities of post-secondary education, many of which differ from those of high school. It will also help you evaluate different aspects of yourself in relation to returning to school as well as the impact of your returning to school on those around you that you care about. This module will also discuss many aspects of personal wellness which will help you to stay healthy and keep your life in balance as you do your studies. Finally, you will create a personal action plan to incorporate the many aspects of adult learning and to move forward in your educational goals.

Learning Objectives

In this chapter on “Adult Learner Awareness,” students will:

  • Describe the challenges and advantages of adult learning and life-long learning.
  • Describe student responsibilities in a college/university environment.
  • Evaluate the spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional dimensions of self in relation to returning to school.
  • Assess the impact of returning to school on family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Investigate personal wellness (support networks, nutrition, fitness, stress, and habits) and recognize its impact on learning.
  • Create a learning action plan.


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Student Success Copyright © 2020 by Mary Shier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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