Research-Based Best Practices for Student Services for Adult Learners: A Qualitative Review

Research-Based Best Practices for Student Services for Adult Learners: A Qualitative Review

Kimberly Morse (Bilbao Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6762-3.ch011
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the student services that are available in institutions of higher education and the efficacy in the student experience. This chapter provides a background of the student services that are required per the United States Department of Education and guidelines, legislation, regulations, and other policies containing specific supports that must be provided. A comprehensive qualitative analysis is presented to provide the perspectives of availability of student services among adult online learners and student services representatives. Recommendations are provided based on the findings from the qualitative analysis.
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Introduction

The purpose of student services within higher education is to ensure that students are not lost in their pursuit of their higher education. Further, student services are designed to provide that students have the resources they need to be successful in their academic role (Higbee & Goff, 2008). The United States (U.S.) Department of Education incorporates certain standards that institutions must meet in order to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful. These include: Accurate and comprehensive information about expenses and financial resources available, including repayment options and refunds; a method to identify a student’s academic preparedness and appropriate support; orientation, advisement, and counseling services throughout the student’s academic career; processes to assist students with achievement of their goals (e.g., program completion, transference to another institution, and post-completion placement) (Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 2020). Institutions must also conduct periodic reviews of the efficacy of student services programs (Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 2020). The need for examination into the efficacy of student services and the role of continued student success is essential for ensuring students have access to necessary resources and are able to utilize them as needed.

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