Graduation Year

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

William H. Young III, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward Fletcher, Ph.D.

Keywords

Lifelong Learning, Older adults, relocation after retirement, Social network, Technology use

Abstract

This research examined demographic factors and reported preferential learning mode among a sample of Florida Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) members compared to a national sample profile of OLLI members. This study was prompted by an earlier study of OLLI members conducted by the National Resource Center (NRC) for OLLIs, which produced a national profile describing OLLI members. Although there was a national profile for OLLI members, there were no existing profiles of Florida OLLI members that could be used by OLLI administrators and instructors.

This study employed an online survey to compare data between the national OLLI member profile and the Florida profile. Demographic factors such as age, gender, marital status, educational level, employment status, and relocation after retirement, as well as reported preferential learning mode were compared. The data resulting from this comparison indicated that although the gender and marital status distributions of the sample participants were similar, a majority of the other demographic variables were different for the Florida and national OLLI samples. The reported preferential learning mode between national and Florida OLLI members also were significantly different, in contrast to earlier research, which suggested that OLLI members were a homogenous group. The findings from this study suggest that it is important for adult education field educators, administrators, and OLLI instructors to recognize the growing diversity and technical proficiency of current retirees in order to continue to promote effective lifelong learning practices.

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