PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to describe, reflect on, and problematize the curricula and student support created by the Writing Program at DePaul University’s School for New Learning. This case study discusses the challenges and considerations that the authors have used to develop writing classes and support for non-traditional adult students.Design/methodology/approachThis qualitative case study emerges from the practical experience and theoretical knowledge of the three authors. The experience includes development, implementation, and revision of curricula and support services to fit the changing needs of the non-traditional student population.FindingsThe growing majority of students demonstrate at least one non-traditional characteristic: delayed postsecondary education enrollment, lack of high school diploma, part-time enrollment, full-time employment, multiple dependents besides a spouse, etc. In the face of institutional indifference, these populations frequently fail to receive the support that meets their particular needs.Practical implicationsUsing their own experience of creating a Writing Program that meets the needs of adult non-traditional students, the authors discuss practical strategies for and possible pitfalls of providing writing support that can be adapted for similarly underserved student populations.Originality/valueThe paper does present interesting approaches for educating adult students. It covers the unique challenges in this population, and the the approaches that are specifically tailored toward meeting their needs.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 9, 2018