student success

Satisfaction and Priorities of Non-traditional Populations

Julie Bryant

Associate Vice President of Retention Solutions

September 9, 2010

Adult Learner Inventory Report 2010. Provides information about older students and their priorities and satisfaction requirements.

What do we know about the satisfaction levels and priorities of non-traditional students? These students include students 25 years of age an older (often referred to as “adult students”), students in graduate-level programs, and students enrolled online. These populations may make up the primary population you serve or be a population that you are currently interested in learning more about.

Three new research reports from Noel-Levitz highlight the satisfaction levels of non-traditional students regarding their educational experiences. They also reflect the priorities of these students and what they consider to be the most important issues when it comes to institutional improvements.

You can download these reports at There are three:

  • The National Adult Learner Satisfaction-Priorities Report on adult students at the undergraduate level
  • The National Adult Student Priorities Report on adult students in graduate as well as undergraduate programs
  • The National Online Learners Priorities Report on students in online distance-learning programs

There are three general findings from these reports:

  1. Students at four-year and two-year adult serving institutions have similar priorities.
  2. Graduate students are generally more satisfied than undergraduate students.
  3. Students enrolled primarily online are typically more satisfied than students enrolled primarily on-campus but also taking online courses.

Do you find any of these results surprising? What has been your experience with your adult and online learners?

About the Author

Julie Bryant of RNL

Julie L. Bryant, associate vice president of retention solutions at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, works directly with colleges and universities throughout North America in the area of satisfaction assessment. Ms Bryant is responsible for client service...

Read more about Julie's experience and expertise

Reach Julie by e-mail at

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