Scott Wallner

Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gary Schnellert


The purpose of the study was to identify reasons and motivation of adult stakeholders that influence participation in adult community education enrichment classes in the St. Cloud Public School District, St. Cloud, Minnesota. The study also examined the perceptions about adult learners held by leaders, planners, and facilitators of these programs, and identified similarities and differences between perceptions by district staff and program participants.

Participants were 289 adult learners who had taken at least one adult enrichment course during the 2009 or 2010 calendar year. 284 participants completed the online Education Participation Scale-Form A, a 42-item survey developed by Boshier (1973, 1991). Additionally, the researcher interviewed five participants. Eight community education coordinators also completed the Education Participation Scale-Form A.

Findings from the study included the following: 1) the General Interest EPS subscale had the highest means (M=14.90), followed by Social Contact (M=10.78) and Social Stimulation (M=10.08); 2) five demographic characteristics were found to be significant predictors of participation; 3) The Educational Preparation EPS subscale was perceived as being least important by adult enrichment participants; and 4) significant differences were found between the perceptions of community education planning staff compared to the perceptions of participants themselves.

Adult enrichment opportunities are a valuable resource to individuals and communities. This study helps to identify some of the critical motivators in the process of understanding adult participation in learning.