Typically, adult learners are defined as students aged 25 and older. They make up nearly half of all students currently enrolled in colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Adult learners are usually practical, resent theory, need information that can be immediately applicable to their professional needs, and generally prefer practical knowledge that will improve their skills, facilitate their work and boost their confidence.
Adult learners are typically classified as older students who don’t enter postsecondary education the same year they graduate high school. Adult learning is very common in the United States, and these students may sometimes be called non-traditional students in some colleges or universities. Developed by Malcolm Knowles in , Adult Learning Theory or andragogy is the concept or study of how adults learn and how it differs from children. It aims to show how adult learning is distinct and identify the learning styles which suit them best. Over the years, the theory has been added to and adapted.