Webinar | Unmasking the New Adult Learner

Title and presenter of the webinar. Unmasking the New Adult Learner presented by Jim Fong on Wednesday, September 14 at 3:00 p.m.


Download the presentation slide deck

Who should watch this webinar?

This 60-minute webinar is free and open to all faculty and staff at Great Plains IDEA member universities. Whether you teach a GP IDEA course, support students taking GP IDEA courses, promote programs on your university website, or help recruit prospective students, you are welcome to join the alliance community to learn about the changing needs and preferences of today's adult learners.

What is the webinar about?

Great Plains IDEA invites you to join us Wednesday, September 14, 2022, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Central Time to hear what UPCEA has learned through recent studies on the new adult learner, employers, and institutions of higher education. Unmasking the learner will help institutions design degree programs and alternative credentials that best serve their needs, improve enrollment and inquiry management programs for greater effectiveness, and aid with the recruitment process.

Today’s adult learner has more choices than ever before when considering where and how to continue learning. The majority of adult learners are Millennials (27 to 42 years of age) or Generation Z’ers (our focus of which is 18 to 26 years of age). Even within their demographic cohorts, they are complicated, segmented, and have significant buying power and decision-making authority. 

Today there are fewer traditional-age students available to brick-and-mortar institutions, forcing colleges and universities to extend beyond their campuses to recruit a larger audience who is more diverse and complex -- the new adult learner. Institutions of higher education no longer hold the purchasing power and cannot afford to gradually adapt at their usual pace. A worldwide pandemic, a fast-moving economy, and changing demographics have shifted the pendulum, and colleges and universities will need to be nimble and understand this new learner to keep up.

Who is presenting the webinar?

Jim Fong is UPCEA's Chief Research OfficerJim Fong is Chief Research Officer at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Prior to UPCEA, he served as Director of Marketing, Research, and Planning for Penn State University’s World Campus where he served in a leadership role that included marketing, enrollment management, and new program development. While at Penn State and in 2007, he earned the UPCEA Mid-Atlantic Award for Distinguished Service. A year later, he received UPCEA’s Adelle F. Robertson as the Association’s Emerging Professional Continuing Educator of the Year. 

Fong is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of California Davis and with Framingham State University’s MBA program. For UPCEA, he is responsible for trend analysis and member market research. Fong has also worked for a number of consulting and marketing companies. He holds a B.S., M.S., and M.B.A. from the University of Vermont.

Some of his select publications include The Disruption of Higher Education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (UPCEA Unbound, 2020), Preparing Marketing for the Future (New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2013), The Final Word, Marketing Online Education Programs: Frameworks for Promotion and Communication (IGI Global, 2011), Marketing Distance Education (International Handbook of Distance Education, 2008), Improving the Relationship between Continuing Education Leadership and Marketing Directors (Continuing and Higher Education Review, 2009) and Making the Decision for Market Research: Determining the Need and Competency (ACHE Journal, 2006).

His hobbies and interests include bikepacking, fantasy sports, sampling microbrews, and cooking. He has served on a number of advisory boards, including the Centre County United Way. Over the years, he has been involved with a number of volunteer activities including mentoring youth and serving aging citizens in his region.

Can't attend the webinar?

The presenter has given permission for Great Plains IDEA to record the presentation. The recording will be made available in two ways:

  • Following the webinar, a link to the recording will be provided to all who registered.
  • The link to the recording will be added to the Member Portal Resources & Tools section.

Still have questions about the webinar?

Contact Kathryn Harth