It is important for adult learners to develop their own motivation for success. Motivation is the key to adult learner success. Today adults pursue higher education for a variety of reasons. Maybe technology has changed their job and they need new to skills to keep up. Perhaps they want to advance to a new level in their career. Or possibly they want to complete a degree they started many years ago.
ReUp Education, an organization that focuses on helping higher education institutions serve students who have stopped out, says that 39 percent of student returning to higher education are motivated by outside factors such as their job or wanting to earn more money. The majority of students, 61 percent, are motivated by personal factors such as the self-empowerment of finishing a degree.
Whatever their reasons for going to school adults need motivation for success. For the adult learner, motivation for success can be found in their work and personal lives. While work and family responsibilities can sometimes seem to be barriers to success, for many they are the motivation for success.
How to create motivation for success
Define the reason for seeking higher education. It may be to earn more money, to provide security for your family, to earn recognition from your employer, or to complete something you started a while ago. Whatever your reason, it is important in creating motivation for success. The goals a person sets, and the reason behind the goals, are a key to motivation, says the Chronicle of Higher Education, because they are personal and people place value on them. “Future goals, because of the increased value attached to them, simply become more attractive to pursue in their own right. Accordingly, these emotions have been associated not only with increased perseverance and decreased procrastination, but also with reduced stress, reduced loneliness, and enhanced well-being.” The reasons adult learners have to pursue education, and the value they place on these reasons, become the motivation for success and make the work worthwhile.
Set goals that are realistic. Anticipating success creates momentum and motivation for success. When learners believe they can accomplish a task and will be successful, they put forth the effort and persistence they need to finish a task, reports the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine. “More-confident students are more likely to be more cognitively engaged in learning and thinking than students who doubt their capabilities.” Positive expectations fuel the work for and become the motivation for success as students pursue their education.
Take control of your learning. Plan career and educational paths that will lead to fulling a goal. An established career path will make learners feel they have control over their career development. An educational path that will help learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to advance in their career gives learners a sense of autonomy, and this creates motivation for success. “When learners believe that they have some control over their own learning, they are more likely to take on challenges and to persist with difficult tasks, compared with students who perceive that they have little control over their learning outcomes.” This is important in creating motivation for success.
Establish the relevancy of your education. Look for ways that your learning can directly apply to your work. Find ways you can apply the new skills you are learning. Adult learners are results-oriented, says the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. “They need to know that the material is relevant to their goals. They prefer the practical to the theoretical, and want to be able to apply what they learn immediately.” Finding ways to apply new skills and knowledge is valuable to both employee and employer.
Creating motivation for success is essential for every adult learner. Personal goals along with work and family responsibilities can be factors behind motivating adult learners to find success. For most adult learners their motivation can come from the value they place on education, their work and family responsibilities.
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