Adult learners are changing the
face of American higher education. In 1969, 10 percent of the nation’s post-secondary enrollment was
composed of adult education. By 1997,
43 percent of the nation’s 14 million
post-secondary students were 25 years
of age or older. It has been more than 35
years since the typical student in post-secondary education has been a recent
high school graduate enrolled full-time
in a four-year college or university,
working toward an undergraduate
There are many choices for working
adults who seek to balance a career and
graduate studies or to enter a degree-completion program. Many excellent
programs featuring quality faculty and
interesting courses are available. As
you consider pursuing a degree-completion program or graduate education,
how will you choose the best place for
“Adult learners want their learning to
connect with their daily life and work,”
says Dr. Steve McClellan, vice president of Adult and Graduate Studies at
Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
“They want an education that focuses
on the knowledge and skills they need
in order to realize personal and professional dreams. We hope they will
choose a university that elects to be
Smart Business spoke to McClellan
about the changing education landscape.
How have adult learners changed the face
of higher education?
Adult learners are treated as co-creators of knowledge. Learning experiences are often designed in cooperation
with learners and directly relate to the
adult learner’s work and profession.
Faculty members are expected to build
upon the knowledge, interests and life situations that adult learners bring to the
Considerable emphasis is placed on
applied ethics through discussions of
real workplace issues that require discernment and leadership. Strong support from student services makes the
task of registering, securing financial
aid and working out scheduling issues
virtually effortless. Required textbooks
are delivered to the classroom. Advising continues throughout your
Plus, all vital administrative functions from admissions to alumni services are available online, allowing
access from any Internet-connected
What kinds of degrees are offered for adult
A comprehensive undergraduate degree is offered in business administration with majors in management, organizational leadership and business
information systems. Accelerated classes are offered one night a week, one
subject at a time, and students remain
in a cohort group throughout their
Graduate programs in business
(Master of Business Administration and
Master of Science in management) are
also available in the accelerated/one
cohort model, taught by individuals
who have been successful in the business world. A Master of Arts in education degree, with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction, is available to
those who aspire to be teachers and are
dedicated to making a difference in the
lives of elementary, secondary and
post-secondary students. It is a program defined by teachers for teachers.
How do schools like yours distinguish
themselves from other adult learning centers?
Ours is an intentionally Christian university. Our mission is to raise up Christ-centered leaders who will serve as models to their neighbors, their coworkers,
their employers and their community.
All courses in the MVNU Adult and
Graduate Studies programs are taught
from a Christian worldview and emphasize values that are vital to both personal and professional success.
Faculty members are selected carefully
in order to bring high levels of competence and real world experience to the
DR. STEVE MCCLELLAN is vice president of Adult and
Graduate Studies at Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s main
campus in Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon Nazarene offers a high-quality degree experience that is founded on a Christian world-view, one that prepares students to live a better life and serve others. It is recognized as one of the best programs for adult learners in Christian higher education. Reach McClellan at (877) 431-9610, ext. 4701.