The Decision-Making Behavior of Post-Traditional Students

Coaching thousands of prospective and enrolled students each day generates tremendous amounts of rich data – both quantitative and qualitative – on student attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. As demographics shift in higher education and we see non-first-time, non-full-time (a.k.a. Post-Traditional) students becoming the majority, we thought it would be helpful to share some of the insights we’ve gained through our work.

This data is not from a survey.  It is not based on what box a student checked at a given moment.  This data is from coaching records that document repeated, meaningful interactions over time.  It represents the honesty and depth of understanding that only come through a trust-based relationship.

Specifically, the data set consists of coaching records for roughly 140,000 prospective and enrolled post-traditional learners coached by InsideTrack over several years.  It provides an interesting look into key issues, including their:

  • Reasons for pursuing a degree
  • Institution selection criteria
  • Concerns with online learning
  • Non-start reasons, and
  • Drop reasons

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