Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Shirley VanHoeven

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Rhodes

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield


This dissertation examines the needs of the adult learner and how or if these needs are being met in the Campus Ill/Weekend College program at Western Michigan University. Specifically, factors that explain the rise of adult learners on college campuses and demographic information on this rising student population are presented. In addition, the reasons for returning to school and differences between traditional and nontraditional students are examined. Institutional, situational, and dispositional barriers confronting adult students are discussed; a model is put forth along with strategies to overcome barriers offered.

Current services for adult learners attending Weekend College at Western Michigan University are described in relationships to adult student needs. Results of a survey to adult students attending Weekend College during the Spring and Summer Sessions at Western Michigan University are summarized in terms of services offered and their link to institutional, situational, and dispositional barriers of the adult learners.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access