The effects of on-the-job writing experiences on the audience adaptation strategies of adult learners in a community college setting
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Adult learners, defined in this study as students age twenty-five and over, make up a large percentage of students who attend community colleges. In 1987, fifty-one percent of the students enrolled as full time students in a two-year college in the United States were over the age of twenty-five. For example, Des Moines Area Community College, the setting for this research, currently has a fifty-seven percent full time adult student enrollment. and this percentage is much higher when part time adult students are included in the enrollment count. These adult students enter the classroom with various degrees of writing experience. Most programs require at least one writing class to graduate, so writing instructors will encounter a large number of adult students in composition classes each semester in two-year colleges. Community college writing instructors will need to accommodate their instruction to the needs of both these students and the traditional students. Research on adult students' learning and composing processes will be beneficial to community college instructors who design student-centered teaching methods for traditional and returning adult students.