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Expectancy Theory Case Study

Introduction:

One of the challenges in today’s education system is the need to increase achievement rates amongst students. While several policy reforms in the last 30 years have attempted to address this by standardizing curriculum and implementing measurement and testing systems, little public attention has been given to student motivation.

Motivation is a key predictor of student success in both K-12 and higher education (Pascarella 1991, Terenzini 2005). Creating an appropriate classroom environment that motivates students in higher education to learn (Hancock, 2002), and enhances their academic performance (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000), is a key objective for educators, but how exactly to achieve this remains unclear.

Adding to this challenge is the increasing demographic diversity in college campuses nationwide. Since the 1970’s a new group of college students labeled ‘nontraditional’ emerged and now surpasses the traditional student. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2002), 73% of college students can be considered nontraditional students. In addition, 50% of all college students are 25 years or older, and this number has increased 50% over the past two decades, and is continuing to grow larger (Horn, 1996; Nordstrom, 1997; Choy, 2002).

The following case study will use The Expectancy Theory of Motivation to study the role of motivation amongst a group of nontraditional Penn State University students. We will apply the expectancy theory to analyze the elements that contribute to the students’ motivation, and we will examine how the students’ motivations are affected by work, family, and other obligations the students must balance with their higher education goals.

Case Study Subjects

The study examines seven non-traditional students working towards their individual degrees through Penn State World Campus.  Here are their stories:

Jackie is a 40 year old woman who has been married to her husband for 16 years, and they have a teenage son together.  Her family is supportive of her educational goals for the most part, because education is very important to her and her family; even though schoolwork takes up a lot of her family time.  She is determined to be a positive role model for her 16 year old son and implore him to learn from her struggles, not to wait on pursuing his education the way that she did.

Jackie’s expectancy is high, as she is sure that she will complete her degree no matter how long it takes.  She originally began her educational journey with the expected outcome of furthering her career, however, lost her job due to downsizing and restructuring.  She had decided to continue in the pursuance of her degree for the satisfaction of following through with what she had started, determined that she would be a better person and parent from it.  Her new expectant outcome is getting a job with her newly obtained degree.  

Besides her father, Jackie will be the only person on that side of the family to obtain a bachelor's degree.  Having a degree means a lot to her personally, as well as occupationally.  The degree serves the purpose of opening the door to more job choices, as well as the opportunity to show her son that perseverance will allow him to achieve anything.  She also finds joy in having something positive and productive to do in her free time, since she's been unemployed. 

Jackie knows that if she does well, she will complete school and achieve her degree.  She feels that because she is paying for her education and because she values academic achievement, that she will not be someone who is satisfied with average grades.  Excelling academically will bring her personal satisfaction that she has done her very best. 

Crystal is a 29 year old woman who has been married to her husband for 3 years, and they have a 2 year old daughter together.  She originally began her college career straight out of high school, at a private university with hopes of becoming a music therapist, but after two years she could not continue her education due to financial reasons.  Shortly after leaving school, she married her first husband, and began attending an online university, while also working full time at a credit union.  She struggled with the decision to go back to school, because this particular online university did not offer a degree in her preferred major, Psychology.  She decided to continue with the classes, as she viewed her education to be useful in other perspective careers.  Although she had made the National Deans List, a year and a half into her education at the online university Crystal dropped out of school.  She had suffered great psychological stress from the demands of her full time job, and troubled marriage.  She had gotten a divorce 4 years into her verbally and psychologically abusive marriage, and began to believe that her new job with full benefits would be the end of her occupational journey.  She remarried one year later unexpectedly, and was encouraged by her new husband to pursue her previous dreams, and go back to school.  She discovered Penn State World Campus, and was elated that they offered a B.A. program in her preferred major.  Her new husband is an active duty recruiter for the armed services, who works long and involved hours while she is currently unemployed, and stays at home with their 2 year old daughter.  She has been consistently working late nights to study and finish school work for the past year and a half, but is determined to complete her degree with the highest academic rating as possible.  She is taking 12 credits as a full time student, and is expected to graduate with her bachelor's degree in psychology after completing one more 12 credit semester.   

Crystal's expectancy toward college is high, as she believes there is a strong relationship between how hard she tries and how well she does.  She is convinced that if she tries hard enough, she will earn her degree.  She has high confidence in her academic abilities based on her religious faith, and past experiences of academic success.  She has a high level of interest in earning her degree and learning about the subject matter of her major.  Other than caring for her daughter in the day, and doing school work through the late hours of the night, she feels that there are no situational constraints hindering her from performing to the best of her ability.

Crystal perceives her outcome of receiving a high GPA as being dependent on how hard she studies, and performs academically.  She believes that with earning a high GPA, it will allow her to graduate next semester with academic honors.  Graduating with honors is very important to her, because she believes that it will determine whether she gets into a good graduate school.  She ultimately believes that by working hard to get into a good graduate school, she will eventually have the successful and satisfying career that she so desires.

Crystal is driven by academic excellence, as she excels in her courses for the benefit of graduating with academic distinction.  She believes that if she receives a low grade on an exam or test, it will result in a lowered GPA, which she would be dissatisfied with, and wants to avoid.  She would rather receive high grades on her exams and tests, which would result in the high GPA she prefers.  She is indifferent to taking an easy course to make an easily achieved high grade, as she is determined to make high marks regardless of the difficulty of the class.  Due to her past experiences with dropping out of school for various reasons, she is adamant about staying in school; giving up and dropping out is something that she wants to avoid, as it would result in her not receiving her degree.  She ultimately desires to graduate with her degree, attend graduate school, and get a good job.  These factors motivate her to work as hard as she does.

Aaron is a 31 year old Caucasian male, is married and has children. Aaron grew up in Lewiston, Idaho, a small town of 31,900 residents with rural influences. Culturally Aaron comes from a background in which high value was placed on a strong work ethic but included little emphasis on educational attainment. His work experience began in Junior High working as a trap operator at a clay pigeon shooting range. In High School he worked as an aircraft mechanic apprentice.  He later graduated with an associate's degree in L.A.S., and is now enrolled as a full time student with the goal to earn a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership.

Aaron started out with an interest in the medical field, but soon realized this would be too hard for him.  He struggled with science and math early on, and after repeated failure in some of his courses, he got discouraged.  Because of this experience, his expectancy was very low, and he put college on hold.  In the mean time, Aaron's family grew and his responsibilities limited his options for school.  While he worked full time, he took a community college class here and there, but never really made any significant progress.  He eventually got to the point where he needed to move up to the university level, and there were no options locally that would fit his work and family schedule.  The only option available to him was to take night classes.  This would mean, working until 5pm everyday, and then staying in class until 9 or 10 at night.  His hour long commute didn't make this option any more desirable.  He believed that he could do it, and he expected that he would receive personal satisfaction and financial security as rewards for his accomplishments, but he felt that the circumstances required would severely damage his family relationships.

Aaron's educational goals had negative value due to his perception that this option would only succeed in wrecking his family life.  He realized that this was the contingent outcome that was more important to him than college.  He became motivated to obtain a college degree only if the end results benefited his family.  Aaron continued on this path of low motivation, as he spent countless hours researching online degree programs, discouraged by the numerous overly expensive schools that had no real academic value. 

Luckily, his motivation and other contributing factors changed.  First, he discovered Penn State University World Campus.  Second, he applied and was accepted.  Third, he came to a point in his life where he realized and accepted the fact that he wasn't good at some classes.  He instead, focused on what he was good at and enjoyed.  With this new approach to his educational goals, his self confidence was renewed.  His expectancy was increased with the heightened belief in his abilities.  With the online format not requiring him to be absent from home to attend class, his perception of the relationship between his efforts and their rewards was also reestablished.  All of these factors contributed to a much higher value towards his educational goals.  Now, Aaron is finally able to benefit from all of the rewards obtained by having a college degree, without the detrimental harm to his family that might have been caused by the local night courses.

Izzy is a 47 year old female, married for 11 years. Her husband is very supportive of her furthering her education, although at times he comments she spends more time with her laptop than with him. Izzy has four children, two are from a previous marriage and two children of her husband’s from a previous marriage. For the most part, all four are grown and live on their own. Izzy has four dogs who are jokingly referred to as pseudo children.
Izzy started college way back in the early 1990’s when her children were young. At the time Izzy was a single mom with a good job, but because Izzy had children young, college wasn't in the plans. Fortunately one of the benefits of her good job was tuition reimbursement, which Izzy took advantage of, going to school at night and after several years earned about 60. Circumstances in life changed and Izzy was no longer able to continue with her schooling. For the next 15 years or so Izzy continued working at progressively more desired positions and made a decent life for her and her children.

After losing her job in 2008 due to downsizing Izzy decided to use the time to go back and finish college. She enrolled in Penn State University, transferred all the credits she had earned previos and received an Associate’s degree in May 2011. Izzy thought by completing the Associates and being able to add it to her resume, and then finish the Bachelor’s, it would add some clout to her resume as she searched for employment. Izzy currently is enrolled half time at PSU while working full time for a temporary staffing company in hopes of being hired full time. Izzy hopes that her efforts to better myself and not become complacent would be seen as a good quality to employers. In addition, Izzy loves learning new things, and hearing different perspectives.

“Expectancy is beliefs about performance capabilities” (PSU World Campus 2011) Izzy has no doubt that she is capable of achieving her goal of a Bachelor’s degree. It is a goal she's always dreamed of achieving, mostly for personal satisifaction, as her preofessional life has been satisfying until the layoff.

Izzy puts a high value on receiving her degree for many reasons. Obviously obtaining a better job and making a decent salary. Most inportantly she values it because lifes circumstances didn't provide an opportunity of college after high school. The value of a degree to Izzy personally is immeasurable. She has overcome many obstacles and many folks who, for whatever reason, did not want her to succeed. Although some have since passed away or no longer care, to Izzy it will be a monumental step towards self-efficacy.

Izzy knows that continuing to take classes, studying and staying focused will end in her completing her degree in Organizational Management. Instrumentality, according to our lesson, is “beliefs about outcome contingencies” (PSU World Campus 2011). Izzy's instrumentality has a solid probability of 1. If she continues to take classes, in which she knows she will do well, she will complete her degree. There is a strong relationship between Izzy's actions and performance and the desired outcome.

Sandra is a single mother of one daughter.  She works full time at a large aerospace company, but does not see herself working there as a career.  She feels that she has gone as far as she can without a college degree, and that without it, the only changes to her current position in the company would be lateral.  She sees college as a difficult, but obtainable goal, because of her successful past college experiences.  Her view is that she is in control of how and when she studies.  She uses this perspective to validate her belief that the more effort she exerts, the better her performance will be in school.

She feels that her good performance in school will lead to a promotion, and although she has no control over her company's reward system, she trusts that the leaders at the company will see her accomplishments and will reward her with a new and challenging position.

Sandra is determined to earn her degree, and prefers this outcome over any other outcome.  She has already invested a large quantity of time and effort into her education, and has always believed that she can achieve her educational goals.  These factors are what motivates her to continue in her efforts.

T-K is a 26 year old woman who is currently in a committed relationship for 9 yrs with no children.  Her family and friends are supportive of her pursuit to seek a bachelor’s degree and they have a very high expectation obtaining a high level of education.  As a part-time student working full time, she is motivated to complete her mission to obtain a Bachelors and later a Masters degree in Business as she would like to live up to the expectations set forth by her parents and siblings as well as be fulfill her personal goal of success.

T-K’s expectancy level is high, as she is determined to complete her degree regardless of the obstacles that may present themselves. Her pursuit of a degree began when she was 17 years old.  Due to unexpected changes in family finances, T-K was forced to place her education on hold and decided to work to obtain the money required to complete her degree. After obtaining a job that not only had the great benefits of tuition assistance, she was also able to advance within the organization very quickly. This experience and exposure motivated T-K to continue the pursuit of a higher level of education and the satisfaction of completing task and making her family proud.

In many ways, T-K’s level of valance is also high. Not only will the completion of a degree provide personal satisfaction, it will also  create increase opportunities for the advancement of her career.  With the increased level of education, T-K believes that this will make the processing of complex tasks a lot easier and less stressful. Geared with the proper tools on ways to manage in an organization, she believes her ability to move up the ladder will be faster and easier.

In order to fulfill these desired goals, T-K has dedicated herself to not just completing assignments and passing classes, but to learning from her experiences and taking her knowledge and applying it to the real-world environment. This she hopes will lead to the advancement within her career and financial compensation.    

T-K continues to be motivated by ensuring that she stays focused on the rewards and works hard to obtain it.  She is extremely proud of herself as she has managed to pay for her education and is very close to fulfilling part of her goal.

Johnny D is a 43 year old Caucasian male and is married with four young children ranging in age from twenty months to eleven years old. Johnny earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 1991 and has been working in a technical role for the past twenty years. His academic achievement was average and certainty of wanting to be an engineer as a lifetime career was not always high. Johnny became employed recently with an Aerospace company that encouraged education and provided financial assistance. This became Johnny’s opportunity to re-enter college with a new purpose and higher expectations to achieve. Several years ago, Johnny worked at a company in Pennsylvania where many of his friends and coworkers had attended Penn State so when he found they had an online program in Psychology he was excited to apply and upon acceptance to their school began taking courses.

Johnny’s initial motivation was both personal and professional. On the personal level, he wanted to set an example for his kids that they have the ability and intelligence for high achievement in academics and for himself he wanted to prove that given better circumstances he could graduate with high grades and distinction. Also, he finds the academic material in Psychology interesting and often tries to apply its teachings to real world situations and even reality shows like “Housewives of New Jersey” that he occasionally watches with his wife. On a professional level, he sees a degree in Psychology as a way to open up new opportunities in his career. His background in Industrial Engineering utilizes Psychology in many situations and the new degree provides additional education that could be useful in gaining a Masters in Human Factors which is a specialty within his profession. He’s also considered transitioning into a role within Human Resources which his new degree would become useful as well. And a third consideration for Johnny is to transition into a counseling role as a second career after his children are grown and he has the opportunity to pursue further education in the field of Psychology.

Johnny D’s expectancy that he will complete the Bachelors program has always been high but his initial perception that he would receive high grades was shaky at first because of his previous college experience but his confidence grew rapidly as he achieved success and currently maintains a 3.98 GPA with only 6 courses remaining.

With regards to instrumentality, he has experienced rewards from Penn State like being recognized by the Dean’s list, sees the possibility of graduation with highest distinction, and his new membership to the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi all have been achieved as a result of his academic performance but has yet to see if any professional rewards will be possible. Because of this discrepancy his perception of rewards and therefore instrumentality varies but because of his personal interest in academic achievement it typically remains high enough to maintain his level of performance.

Johnny’s valence remains very high because the perceived rewards of achievement and potential career opportunities are what he is setting his motivation towards. However what oftentimes affects the value of these goals are the important people in his life. His family is extremely close and loving and his wife and children gain a lot of his time and attention which always take precedence over his study time. Because of these choices he sometimes lets the valence slip because he values his family time more than any other goal. In addition, his wife is working towards an MBA which is also very important to Johnny because he wants to see her succeed as well. In order to maintain this high valence he utilizes the odd hours of night and mornings and work breaks to complete the majority of his work which can at times challenge his valence because of fatigue and pressure from lack of study time.

Overview:

Expectancy theory is one of the most useful theories for the study of student motivation because it attempts to explain how people make decisions based on the expected outcomes of their behavior. It is unique to other forms of motivation because it represents a cognitive approach to motivation; that is it attempts to understand how the different elements of motivation are processed and understood by the individual.

As is explained in the Expectancy Theory overview, the theory has three parts which we will review briefly.    

1.    Expectancy - the belief or perception that one’s effort is linked to and correlates with performance. A student with high expectancy toward a college course would believe more study time will equate to higher test scores.

2.    Instrumentality – the belief or perception that one’s performance is linked to and correlates with a desired outcome. Performing well on a final exam will lead to the desired outcome of passing a class.

3.    Valence – the value or desirability of the expected outcome of one’s efforts. Basically this is the level of importance a person sets upon a particular outcome or achievement.

These three elements combined form the motivational force (Vroom 1964, 1995) that energizes our aspirations.

Study Abstract

This case study examined the elements of motivation described in Expectancy Theory applied to seven nontraditional students pursuing college degrees from Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Each participant provided their age, gender, relationship and parental status, and described briefly some of the circumstances of their higher education goals.

Participants
Age
Relationship
Children at home
full/part time

 

 

 

 

 

Jackie

40

x

x

part

Crystal

29

x

x

full

Aaron

31

x

x

full

Izzy

47

x

 

part

Sandra

47

 

x

full

T-K

26

x


part

Johnny D

43

x

x

part

Expectancy

We begin our study by looking at the motivational element of expectancy and how it applies to each student. Expectancy is the starting point of the cognitive processes which lead to a specific behavior. Each of the students in this study expressed expectancy that academic achievements would lead to positive outcomes.

Within the motivational element of expectancy, our study found three important factors common amongst the students. The first we might call optimism or self confidence. Each student expressed a belief in their own abilities as an important part of expectancy toward their higher education goals. College poses a range of challenges – academic, technical, financial, and time management. Faced with these difficulties, it is important for each student to believe they can meet those challenges and to conquer them. One student in the study described how his expectancy was strongly affected by discouragement. He began his college career with plans to enter the medical field, but found the course work extremely challenging. His self confidence was weakened after struggling with some of the pre-med classes, and as a result his motivation was low and his college plans were postponed for several years. Years later after returning to college and enrolling in a degree program that was in line with his abilities and interests, his confidence restored and his motivation increased dramatically.

This reveals that the level of expectancy will be determined in part by how a person perceives he or she has the appropriate skills and the correct resources to be successful as a college student. Ensuring they have appropriate resources such as computers and time as well as support from others is essential (MSG, 2011).

The second factor of expectancy our study found is personal fulfillment. Each student predicted a sense of gratification of some kind would be obtained from the achievement of their higher education goals. One student cited the personal satisfaction would come from the long desired academic attainment. Another mentioned the desire to be a positive role model to her teenage son, and another student referred to academic interest in her chosen field as a source of personal fulfillment.

The third common factor in the students’ expectancy in our study is opportunity. Each student believed their higher education goals would lead to increased opportunity of some form either academic or professional. The students cited more job opportunities, higher salaries, promotions, job security, and respect or prestige as positive outcomes related to increased opportunity.

Instrumentality

The Expectancy Theory describes Instrumentality as ones’ personal perception of the relationship between their expected performance, and the rewards, or other outcomes of that performance (Penn State World Campus, 2011, p. 4), having an effect on that individual’s total Motivation Force (MF).  In this case study, the students’ Instrumentality has an effect on their motivation to achieve academic distinction, as well as reach their future goals of graduation.  In this section, we will take note of the students' shared perceptions of the relationship between performance and desired outcome.  Realizing the shared characteristics of instrumentality between the case study's students can benefit those who may be facing challenges in nontraditional online education.  This section will also evaluate how low Instrumentality can be changed and solved, by highlighting one of the students' initial challenges with continuing education, along with their eventual Motivation Force success.

Instrumentality: The Link between Performance and Rewards/Outcomes

Instrumentality is a delicate balance of perception; how ones’ perceived performance relates to desired rewards and outcomes.  The Instrumentality of this case study involves the perceived rewards and outcomes of nontraditional students who are performing the necessary online tasks in pursuance of various degrees from Penn State.  In the Schmidt Labor Research Center’s web notes, Motivation: Expectancy Theory; Dr. Richard Scholl, Professor at the University of Rhode Island, describes occupational Instrumentality rewards; stating that they, “may come in the form of a pay increase, promotion, recognition or sense of accomplishment” (Scholl, 2002).  Uniquely, the case study’s alternative students are attempting to attain occupational, as well as educational rewards, while factoring in families and other personal aspects.  The Instrumentality (P→O) in this case study is deemed as the students’ perception of the relationship between their expected performance (P) in academics, and the desired educational, and occupational rewards (O) they hope to receive from that performance. 

Performance:

The students in this case study share similar aspects of performance, such as studying hard, and staying focused in order to maintain good grades towards eventual degree completion.

Rewards and Outcomes:

The educational rewards and outcomes that are evident in this case study include: graduation, academic distinction, and entrance into graduate school/masters program.  All of these non-traditional students desire to graduate, and majority of them would like to do so with academic distinction.  However, while some of the students have plans on continuing their education into graduate school, majority of the students do not share this desired outcome and do not express their intents to enroll in a masters program. 

Occupational rewards that are evident in this case study are in relation to the final outcome of degree completion and receiving academic distinction.  They include: having emotionally and financially satisfying new careers/jobs, impressing and meeting expectations of current employers, as well as receiving recognition, title promotions and pay raises in the current workplace. 

Other rewards that are evident in this case study exemplify the individual nature of motivation.  Personal rewards that vary between individuals include: financial security, sense of individual accomplishment/pride, being a positive role model to family members, and obtaining a college degree without adversely affecting ones’ family life or career.      

Instrumentality: Multiple Outcomes May Lead to Conflict

As Instrumentality is the belief about outcome contingencies, an individual would either acknowledge that a particular outcome is conditional to performance, or that there is no relationship between the two (Penn State World Campus, 2011).  This section takes a step back to acknowledge that there can be multiple high instrumentalities to consider, and that not every outcome is perceived to be positive, causing conflict, and affecting an individual's Valence measure (explained in the following section).  In essence, if there are multiple conflicting outcomes to one specific performance, an individual might be inclined to avoid a particular outcome all together by not performing the related task. 

One of the case study students, Aaron, experienced low motivation force when originally considering night classes at a local university to further his education.  As he saw the outcome of performing the tasks of work, night courses, and his hour long drive home, to result in an outcome that would severely damage his family relationships, he was faced with a decision.  Because, "There are as many instrumentalities as there are outcomes" (Penn State World Campus, 2011, p. 4), Aaron had to weigh two contrasting outcomes connected to the same performance, and make a decision: the high instrumentality of the perceived relationship between his night school attendance resulting in an outcome of financial and personal gain, to the high instrumentality of the perceived relationship between his night school attendance resulting in an outcome of damaged family relationships.  Although he believed that the effort he dedicated to his performance in these courses would give him an outcome of personal satisfaction, and financial security, Aaron perceived the alternative outcome of adversely affecting his family as undesirable (Valence), and decided not to follow through with his plans.      

Fortunately, Aaron's multiple outcomes were downsized when he happened upon the Penn State World Campus, and their online degree program.  As a non-traditional student, he became able to perceive the relationship between his academic efforts, and the outcome of financial security and personal satisfaction.  The degree program granted his work and family schedule much needed flexibility, and he no longer identified the performance of going back to school with affecting his family life, thus leaving the more desirable outcome.  Due to the flexibility an online degree program allows its non-traditional students, many of those who find themselves in Aaron's situation can find solace in knowing that although they may need to work hard to attain their degree, the performance involved will be a benefit to them as well as their families, not a detriment. 

Valence

The Expectancy Theory is based on perceptions.  The perception an individual has on a situation dictates the actions and value they place on the situation (PSU World Campus, 2011).  Because perception is a thought process unique to the individual the value of the situation to that individual is also emotional and unique.  This was evident when examining the value our study participants placed on the pursuit of higher education and in all instances earning a degree in their chosen field.

The value the participants place on obtaining a degree is high, everyone rated it at 1.  There is a direct relationship between the high value placed on education and the perception of expecting a better position in the work place.  Promotion, higher salaries and respect are all perceived as highly valued outcomes.  In addition, Izzy and Jackie placed a high value on the self satisfaction obtaining a degree will bring.  Jackie will be the first person in her family to receive a college degree and will bring a sense of pride to her as well as her family.  Izzy has faced many obstacles and people who did not support the importance of education so obtaining the degree has a high value in that she overcame negativity to achieve a personal goal. 

As briefly mentioned earlier, Aaron exhibited dynamic changes in the value he places on education when it became a challenge to the integrity of his family.  His valence dropped considerably.  It wasn’t until he realized reputable online education did his perception return to a high status.  By utilizing online courses at PSU Aaron did not need to be away from the home to pursue his goals.  By being able to study at his convenience he was able to keep family a priority.  This is a classic example of the importance of each component of the expectancy theory needing to be present.   The perception his family life was suffering caused his instrumentality to drop and in turn the value of his endeavor dropped significantly.  The source of motivation depends upon the three functions of the VIE theory, valence, instrumentality and expectation.  If one component is causing an effect on effort, it affects the other components.  All three are essential to motivation.

Conclusion

We've just seen how the Expectancy Theory can apply to the varying motivations of individual non-traditional students; however, motivation in the workplace is most notable for the application of this theory, and can be an invaluable aid to employers. As evidenced by this study, irregardless of the venue, people have different reasons for doing things, and those reasons can change over time. Higher education has realized the need for flexibility and convenience for nontraditional students and in effect has opened the door of opportunity for many. Continuing to monitor the needs of the World Campus students, PSU has an opportunity to be a forerunner in online education. Adapting to changing needs is paramount for PSU success for nontraditional students and online education.  Employers can and do facilitate these same ideas in the workplace. Being able to adapt to the ever changing needs of their employees will effectively give employers an edge and allow them to hold onto valuable workers, just as PSU World Campus allows these non-traditional students to hold onto and achieve their educational goals.

References:

Choy, S. (2002) Nontraditional Undergraduates: Findings from "The Condition of Education, 2002." National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.

Expectancy Theory of Motivation. (n.d.). Management Study Guide . Retrieved September 17, 2011, from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/expectancy-theory-motivation.htm

Hancock, D. R., Bray, M., & Nason, S. A. (2002). Influencing University Students' Achievement and Motivation in a Technology Course. The Journal of Educational Research , 365-372.

Horn, L. Dennis, C. (1996) Nontraditional Undergraduates: Trends in Enrollment from 1986 to 1992 and Persistence and Attainment among 1989-90 Beginning Postsecondary Students. National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.

Nordstrom, P. Conrad, B. (1997) From On-Site to Distance Education: A High Wire Act in Innovation and Leadership. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the Chair Academy (6th, Reno, NV, February 12-15, 1997)

Pascarella, Ernest T., and Patrick T. Terenzini. Findings and insights from twenty years of research. 1. ed. San Fransisco, Washington, London: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991. Print.

Penn State World Campus. (2011). Lesson 4: Expectancy Theory: Is there a link between my effort and what I really want? Retrieved September 15, 2011, from Penn State World Campus: https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/fa11/psych484/001/content/lesson04/lesson04_02.html 

Scholl, R. W. (2002).  Motivation: Expectancy theory.  The University of Rhode Island Website.  Retrieved from http://www.uri.edu/research/lrc/scholl/webnotes/Motivation_Expectancy.htm

Terenzini, P., & Reason, R. (2005, November 19). Retrieved September 15, 2011, from http://www.ed.psu.edu/educ/parsing-project/.pdf%20documents/ASHE05ptt.pdf

Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.

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