Keeping Adult Education in the Mix: Using the Marketing Mix to Foster Viable and Sustainable Graduate Programs for Adult Learners

Keeping Adult Education in the Mix: Using the Marketing Mix to Foster Viable and Sustainable Graduate Programs for Adult Learners

Josie L. Andrews (Troy University, Montgomery, AL, USA) and Jonathan E. Taylor (Troy University, Montgomery, AL, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEM.2017010103
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Abstract

Generally, educators dislike marketing their programs and have traditionally operated on a “build it and they will come” principle. This method is potentially jeopardizing the sustainability of adult education graduate programs throughout the United States, resulting in some graduate programs being integrated into larger programs, discontinued, or even closed. In this article, the authors focus on adult learners in adult education graduate contexts and posit that marketing does not have to be driven blindly by market forces, but instead can be used to build more useful and viable graduate programs that fit the highly contextualized needs of adult learners. To bridge this gap, the 4P's of marketing, which have been referred to as “the holy quadruple…of the marketing faith,” will be presented and then integrated with adult education praxis with the intention of providing a way forward for bringing adult learners together with relevant programs and creating ethical and sustainable programs (Kent, 1986, p. 146).
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Specifying Adult Education

In the following sections, the terms graduate programs, professional programs, and advanced programs will be used interchangeably to indicate particular academic programs, which are masters, doctorates, certificates, and specialists. Educational institutions, where professional programs are offered, present adult learners with opportunities to grow as scholars and innovators, who contribute immensely to research and publication in the field. Kasworm, Rose, and Ross-Gordon (2010) acknowledge that adult education graduate programs have been “major vehicles for preparation of practitioners and scholars working in the field” (p. 131).

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