Presenter Morgan Jackson, Assistant University Registrar at The University of Alabama, focused her session "Generational Differences: The Changing Face of Higher Education" on how higher education, and the modern workforce, currently serve five different
generational groups. She looked at the differences between the generations and how higher education professionals can change their approaches to serve student and workforce success.
Opening her presentation Ms. Jackson outlined the six generational groups participating, or about to participate, in higher education:
- Traditionalists (1928-1945)
- Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
- Generation X (1965-1980)
- Millennials (1981-1996)
- Generation Z (1997-2012)
- Generation Alpha (2013-???)
For each generation, Ms. Jackson highlighted traits and approaches to education and work for which they are associated. Acknowledging that "Although we know that no one group acts as a monolith, common traits have been identified within these groups. Educational institutions are struggling to serve populations that fall outside of the traditional student archetype (Recently high school
graduates with minimum transfer credit) because of the needs of the non-traditional populations."
Continuing, Ms. Jackson looked at some of the ways that many higher education institutions are lagging behind in serving students from varied generations, saying:
The most "up-to-date" schools are just now implementing tactics/resources that millennials were asking for in 2005 - these are now outdated. GenZ is more interested in receiving quality education and support services; they want places to talk about problems outside of their student life. Often, support systems are not well-advertised nor even available for non-traditional students.
She concluded her session by offering some pieces of advice in providing resources to the varied generations coming into higher education, including:
- Work to understand the people, perspectives, and needs of the individuals
- Be clear with expectations, goals, and outcomes
- Frequent and varied communication through various formats (calls, texts, emails, etc.)
- Provide tools and work to give everything needed (and that is offered) to complete goals
At the end of the session, attendees offered first-hand experiences on the changing dynamic and how they've adapted in recent years.
Want to continue the conversation? Join your colleagues and collaborate at the Technology & Transfer Summit in July.