Date of Conferral







Christina Dawson


The number of adult learners has grown significantly since World War II, and workplace environments have expanded to embrace many new areas of expertise and knowledge. The expectations of these learners in terms of the courses offered by career universities have become increasingly diverse. University personnel need to find ways that optimize and align courses offered with those expectations. The purpose of this correlational study was to understand the relationships between outcome variables in adult education programs and students' perceptions of the quality of their educational programs. Five historically tracked variables were examined: program GPA, job placement rate, program completion rate, Net Promoter Scores, and student satisfaction. The study was underpinned by 3 andragogical areas as understood through the lenses of Mezirow and Knowles: adult student perceptions of educational experiences (as measured through student-completed evaluations), adult learner motivation, and content and curriculum design. The research question addressed relationships between and among the 5 variables for each of the 14 specialized MBA programs at a career university in the northwestern United States. Data for 400 adult students from the years 2008 to 2014 were used. Spearman's Rho correlations revealed no consistently significant relationships between the variables. Other metrics may be more useful to assess the overall effectiveness of programs. Possible future research can explore different variables so that university staff will have better data to address the demands of adult students, which will contribute to their educational and social wellbeing and to the needs of their present and future employers.