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Designing a Writing Program for non-traditional adult students: a case study (HETL Scotland 2017)

Nicholas Alexander Hayes (School for New Learning, DePaul University – School for New Learning, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Steffanie Triller Fry (School for New Learning, DePaul University – School for New Learning, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Kamilah Cummings (School for New Learning, DePaul University – School for New Learning, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 9 April 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe, reflect on, and problematize the curricula and student support created by the Writing Program at DePaul University’s School for New Learning. This case study discusses the challenges and considerations that the authors have used to develop writing classes and support for non-traditional adult students.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative case study emerges from the practical experience and theoretical knowledge of the three authors. The experience includes development, implementation, and revision of curricula and support services to fit the changing needs of the non-traditional student population.

Findings

The growing majority of students demonstrate at least one non-traditional characteristic: delayed postsecondary education enrollment, lack of high school diploma, part-time enrollment, full-time employment, multiple dependents besides a spouse, etc. In the face of institutional indifference, these populations frequently fail to receive the support that meets their particular needs.

Practical implications

Using their own experience of creating a Writing Program that meets the needs of adult non-traditional students, the authors discuss practical strategies for and possible pitfalls of providing writing support that can be adapted for similarly underserved student populations.

Originality/value

The paper does present interesting approaches for educating adult students. It covers the unique challenges in this population, and the the approaches that are specifically tailored toward meeting their needs.

Keywords

Citation

Hayes, N.A., Triller Fry, S. and Cummings, K. (2018), "Designing a Writing Program for non-traditional adult students: a case study (HETL Scotland 2017)", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 130-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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