Theses Doctoral

Exploring the Teaching Approaches Utilized by Educators of Returning Adult Students on Satellite Campuses and Community College Campuses: To What Extent Do Faculty Change Their Teaching Approaches to Meet the Needs of the Adult Learner?

Allen, Antija M.

There is a wealth of literature that provides faculty with effective teaching practices for educating returning adult students. Most of the literature focuses on online classes/institutions, community colleges, or the main campuses of four-year institutions. There is little to no literature, which explains what is actually taking place in the classroom on satellite campuses (also known as branch campuses, which consist almost entirely of returning adult students) of four-year institutions. With the projection of a continued increase in the number of returning adult students, it was important that this problem was addressed.
Through in-depth interviews, the following was explored with seventeen Behavioral Science faculty: the unique challenges faced by faculty on satellite campuses, perceptions of returning adult students, whether faculty changed their teaching approaches with returning adult students, the teaching approaches utilized and if those teaching approaches were aligned with adult learning principles.
The findings indicated that the satellite campus environment is unique as far as the student population and skills required to navigate the various difficulties one might encounter as a faculty member. Faculty recognize the differences between traditional and returning adult students. They are conscious of the challenges that their returning adult students face and modify their teaching approaches in order to meet their needs. And regardless of how faculty learn how to adapt to the needs of the returning adult students and no matter what principles guide their thinking, faculty try to meet their students’ needs. Additionally, whether faculty utilize formal course evaluations or gather feedback informally, feedback from students in any form hold value and can assist faculty in determining how to best modify their teaching approaches.


  • thumnail for Allen_tc.columbia_0055E_10812.pdf Allen_tc.columbia_0055E_10812.pdf application/pdf 977 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Yorks, Lyle
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 2, 2018