THE CORRELATION BETWEEN ACADEMIC PERSISTENCE AND DEMOGRAPHICAL OUTCOMES IN POST SECONDARY ACCELERATED ADULT EDUCATION STUDIES

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The presence of high attrition within these institutions that offer adult education along with the pressures of accountability are also very high (Hubble, 2000). Previous research shows that most of the adults who withdraw usually do so when they have accomplished their goals or when they want to join other programs that would suit them more. They also indicate that most of the adults who drop out of school usually return when their situations are altered creating a cycle where they drop out and return severally (Skilton-Sylvester, 2002). The process of utilizing class or lecture attendances as the major measurement of persistence actually undervalues other effective activities in learning that should otherwise be encouraged. This includes learning activities like personal studies along with distance learning (Ziegler, Bain, Bell &amp. Brian, 2003). According to Comings (2008), persistence is the period that adults stay in education programs while engaging in personalized studies when forced by circumstances to withdraw from attending classes or lecture lessons. He additionally stated that the adult students should return to attending the lectures when their lives demand so. Previous surveys carried out on adult students in the United States indicate that, the adults who have previously been involved in vocational trainings, self-studies and other forms of education were more likely to have academic persistence than those who had not (Rudy, 2003). They also indicate that adult students who have specific needs are more likely to persist than adults attending these institutions but with no specific goals. The institutions proving adult education programs should provide more learning options such as distance learning to those adult students who are no longer willing to join classes or attend lectures (Hubble, 2000). Adults can be engaged in better understanding while managing the forces that advance or affect their learning activities through perspective that is learner centered so as to effectively support their persistence (Ziegler &amp. Durant, 2007). There are several factors that have been identified as affecting the adult students’ academic persistence. These factors have been identified as ranging from different situations, institutions, dispositions, demographic factors along with emotional or relational forces (Ziegler, Bain, Bell &amp. Brian, 2003). The situational problems that affect an adults persistence in education include problems associated with their employments, finances, the support of their children, families, transport and health issues along with abuses from their fellow learning mates (Reder &amp. Strawn, 2001). The institutional forces that hinder the adults from persisting in education programs include the level or contents of the program, its location and attendance or reentry guidelines that are utilized in the institution (Hubble, 2000). On the other hand, the adult students may be prevented from excelling in their chosen fields by the attitudes they have developed towards the studies, their self-efficacies, resilience’s along with failure attributions (Long, 2001). Finally, the adult student’s academic persistence may be affected by demographic and emotionally related forces. The demographic forces include age, sex and their diverse cultures whereas the emotional forces include the community support they are accorded, encouragements along with the care