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Glossary: Adult Students

Following are some of the terms that come up in reporting on adult students

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Andragogy– (as distinct from pedagogy) a theory of adult education, first popularized in the United States by the academic Malcolm Knowles, that calls for recognizing the different motivations older students bring to learning, and reflecting that in teaching that is problem-centered, relevant, and cognizant of their experience.

Comebackers – one of several terms used to describe some of the 36 million adults with some college but no degree who return to complete their college education after initially stopping out.

Competency Based Education – a teaching approach popular in adult-serving programs under which students progress through courses, which are not timed to terms or semesters, as they  complete set milestones.

Degree Reclamation – process by which students years out of school find their way back to their original college or a different one, while keeping at least some of their prior academic credits.

Prior Learning Assessment – one of the ways of awarding Credit for Prior Learning to students, often following a process that can involve testing or review of a students’ portfolio of work or accomplishments. .

Tuition reimbursement – programs under which working students’ tuition is covered by their employers, either for specified work-related programs or more generally. (Programs where employers pay the tuition directly rather than requiring students to cover the costs upfront and seek reimbursement upon completion are considered more progressive and student friendly.)

2GenTwo-generation (2Gen) approaches are educational strategies designed to simultaneously help parents (especially single parents) to pursue postsecondary education while also offering support to their young children.