The following was originally posted by College for America.
Many companies implement a tuition reimbursement program with the aim of helping their employees prepare for industry changes and to advance in their careers. But employers are right to wonder if the degrees programs that their employees enroll in will be effective.
A key characteristic that employers should look for is whether the program is designed for adult learners in particular, because the difference can be critical. Working adults approach learning differently than children or traditional college students. They are motivated differently and have different requirements to learn effectively. They demand instruction that is relevant to their careers. And their motivation stems from more opportunities for career advancement.
Simply retrofitting college classes for adult learners may fail to meet adults’ unique goals. For most adults, free time is scarce and schedules are unbending, filled with work and personal commitments. Having adults sit in a classroom listening to lectures, reading written handouts, and taking multiple-choice tests based on a college curriculum just won’t work for them. The flexibility of accessing these elements online is invaluable.
Foremost, adult learners benefit most from relevant, useful, and individualized instruction to achieve their personal goals — with assignments and assessments that are logical and meaningful.
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