Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kenda Grover

Committee Member

Dearl Lampley

Second Committee Member

Adam Morris


adult learners, first year seminar, qualitative


The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of adult learners in a first-year seminar course at Columbia State Community College, located in middle Tennessee, to determine if the content of the course has an impact on the learners’ adjustment to college. With the statewide initiative to reach a goal of 55% of the state’s population having a postsecondary credential, a push has been made to focus on adult learners to help the reach this goal. Understanding and addressing the adjustment needs of adult learners is necessary to aid retaining adult learners through completion. The first-year seminar course can serve as an extension of orientation or in place of orientation to help introduce students to the institution and collegiate life. Most often, the content of these courses is designed for first-year students entering college directly following high school and may not address the unique needs of adults re-entering college after an extended time away from formal education. This study will examine if the content of the course currently in place at Columbia State is addressing the needs of their adult learners. Using a case study methodology, a small group of participants will be selected for interviews following course completion. The transcripts gathered from the interviews will be reviewed to identify relevant themes related to course content and student adjustment using the dimensions of adjustment posited by Baker and Siryk (1989).