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This longitudinal study examines the perceptions, attitudes, and preferences of the adult learners in higher education institutions in the United States. A qualitative design was utilized, engaging respondents from six geographic regions in the United States. This three-year, longitudinal research results were compared and contrasted with the eight principles of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and best practices for meeting the educational and professional needs of the adult learner were proposed . Since Knowles  published his seminal work on adult learners and their unique characteristics, there have emerged a growing number of studies categorizing these students. Also known as nontraditional students, these individuals have been identified as sharing distinctive commonalities, such as: (1) full time employment with part-time enrollment, (2) dependent support (whether married or single parent status), (3) flexibility in academic and professional advisement, (4) acknowledgement of work- and life-experiences, and (5) are constrained by time limitations [3,4,5].
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