Online Higher Education for Nontraditional Adult Students Chapter uri icon


  • This chapter examines two U.S. four-year public universities, the Pennsylvania State University World Campus and the University of Oklahoma Outreach, that have successfully developed online adult education system/programs for adults. Using the principles of effectiveness for serving adult learners, the integrated review reveals not only how they advance online higher education environment for adults, but the types of challenges they have. Key findings highlight that, under a strong tradition of distance education, self-assessment system, financial independence, and diverse active supports for life and career planning play a critical role in increasing the academic engagement and retention of adult students. However, they also have several challenges: high tuition rates and limited scholarship options, monitoring students' experience, learning outcome assessment, and commitment of faculty members. The authors close with practical/academic implications and future research agendas.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., Shin, H. Y., Smith, K. L., & Hwang, J.

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Junghwan||Shin, Heh Youn||Smith, Kim L||Hwang, Jihee

editor list (cited editors)

  • Carlton J. Fitzgerald, .., Simona Laurian-Fitzgerald, .., & Carmen Popa.

Book Title

  • Handbook of Research on Student-Centered Strategies in Online Adult Learning Environments

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM