Adult Learners Bring “Youthful Life Experiences” to South

By: Danni Black | Contributor

Adult learners that attend colleges and universities have increased by 40%, according to a 2021 article written by Sara Gallagher. This is an astonishing rise since the start of the pandemic. With adult learners comes a wealth of information, perspective and life experience.

More adult students have been inspired to step back into the world of education, and even become role models for younger peers that are also pursuing their studies. 

“Adult learners are a gem,” said South Alabama’s Director for the Office of Adult Learners Services Bob Charlebois. “Not only do they bring a valuable and different perspective, but they also motivate others with their own stories behind youthful life experiences.” 

Charlebois has helped to guide and watch many adult learners accomplish and achieve their goals to completion of their degree. He also helps other adult learners off campus as well as on. 

Kriston Seiber is an adult learner who has already completed her degree in accounting and is returning to South Alabama to major in Psychology. She also believes that adult learners are a great benefit to the younger learners. She is even a mentor here at South. 

“Though it feels like work without the pay, the positive feelings outweigh the negative,” said Seiber. “I feel like I am in control of this stressful aspect of my life. It challenges me, but only so far as I allow it to challenge me. If I want an A the challenge is higher. If I want to network the challenge is even higher because this is not something I’m natural at.”  

As an adult learner, I can say that though we do feel our age, our brain never stops the hunger for educational levels in life. The only thing we can do as we age is to help age others by great lessons of advice and words of wisdom. This is the unique responsibility of the adult learners of South Alabama.