Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The purpose of this study was to identify the common educational objectives of Empire State College students. Understanding the goals of adult learners, the student body of Empire state, is important, since adult students tend to be highly purposive. Objectives were examined by type and for differences that may result from area of residence and gender. Four hundred and thirty-seven entering students were asked to indicate the importance of 19 goal statements as reflecting their educational objectives. Except for a slight underrepresentation of rural students, the respondents were representative of the Empire State student population and of their geographic and gender distributions. The importance of goals were determined by comparing the frequencies with which they were cited as very important and by comparing goals indicated as most important by the respondents. The significance of differences between males and females was tested by chi square analysis. The research hypothesis that the most important objectives are career (goal-oriented) goals was only partially confirmed. Career objectives were cited as the most important, but academic (learning-oriented) goals were most frequently cited as very important to the respondents. The research hypothesis that social/cultural (activity-oriented) goals were least important was confirmed. The third hypothesis, that women were more likely to cite personal development goals as very important and men more likely to cite career goals, was partially confirmed. Career and academic goals were very important to both sexes, but personal development objectives were important only to women. Based on the results of this study several avenues of additional research were suggested.

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