In an ongoing effort to place students at the center of designing digital learning solutions, Cengage Learning surveyed nearly one hundred members of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, about their personal and academic goals.

The survey, conducted at Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015 annual conference, NerdNation, conveyed a desire for self-improvement and career satisfaction, highlighted the integral role smartphones play in their lives and shed light on challenges members face while pursuing their education endeavors.

“Phi Theta Kappa is grateful for our partnership with Cengage Learning,” said Dr. Nancy Rieves, Director and CEO of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “We appreciate their commitment to studying the barriers our students face to college completion and working with us to provide them with opportunities that foster achievement and personal growth.”

Survey respondents ranged in age from 17 to 66 years old and represented a variety of academic disciplines. Many plan to continue their education beyond their two-year certificates to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree. While survey respondents were clear about their academic and career goals, they were also candid about the challenges they face in pursuit of higher education.  Common obstacles include: time management, balancing school, work and family obligations, and financing their education.

“Improving the student experience begins with a deep understanding of how students live and learn,” said Lori Schoenenberger, Senior Market Research Manager at Cengage Learning. “This study provides a unique window into the lives of a population we serve.  Understanding their aspirations, fears and goals ensures the most effective product design and personalized services for students from all walks of life.”

Since 1929, Phi Theta Kappa has been recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges as the official honor society for two year colleges. Its dual mission is to recognize and encourage scholarship as well as provide opportunities for individual growth and development. Study participants answered questions regarding their student experience, note-taking practices and use of mobile devices.

»Access the full white paper: A Frontline Look at Phi Theta Kappans’ Goals, Challenges, and Habits.

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