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March 31, 2014

RSU Student Selected for National Committee Addressing Adult Learning

Jody StrobleA Rogers State University student and staff member has been selected for a national advisory committee to help remove barriers and develop creative solutions for college students like her, who are balancing family, work and educational responsibilities.

Jody Stroble of Claremore was selected as one of 12 nationwide to serve as a member of the 2014-15 Working Learning Advisory Council. The council was established by the ACT Foundation, which was endowed by the ACT testing service to assist the needs of working learners.

A sport management senior, Stroble is a single mom who works full time in the RSU Admissions office as a data specialist and an admissions counselor. She has been taking nine hours a semester to reach her goal of earning her bachelor's degree in May 2015. In addition, she teaches aerobics at the Claremore Super Rec Center and is a beauty consultant for Mary Kay cosmetics. She earned her associate degree in accounting from RSU in 2005.

Stroble's appointment to the advisory council includes a $12,000 stipend and will cover her travel expenses for in-person meetings in Iowa next month and in Texas this fall. While at the Iowa meeting, she will participate in an interview for a documentary about adult learners.

A 2002 graduate from Claremore High School, Stroble has worked in the RSU Admissions office for the past three years. After her planned 2015 graduation, Stroble hopes to enter a career in college athletics in a compliance or student development capacity, and she's getting a first-hand view of this world through her current internship with the RSU Hillcat athletics department.

"Jody works amazingly hard, both here in the office and outside of the office," said Joy Lin Husted, RSU director of admissions. "We're thrilled that she is going to be able to participate in this council and share her experience as an adult learner."

RSU President Dr. Larry Rice praised Stroble's selection to the task force.

"Jody has clearly demonstrated the work ethic that we have come to recognize among RSU's many success stories. We believe that she will be able to provide a first-hand account of the challenges facing today's working learners and what can be done to overcome them," he said.

Stroble has always managed a packed schedule, working multiple jobs and volunteer activities throughout her life. That didn't change when her son was born two years ago, but it has added an additional degree of difficulty.

"The biggest issue adult learners face is 'How am I going to get this done?' as they try to balance work, school and family," she said. "The most important thing I try to impress on adults who come back to school is time management. It's certainly achievable to start or return to school as an adult, but they'll need to schedule their time appropriately."

As a member of the advisory council, Stroble will work with the ACT Foundation, researchers, business and industry organizations and other young working learners to address the issues and challenges facing working learners.

The main purpose of the Working Learner Advisory Council is to advise ACT Foundation on potential strategies for improving learning and workforce development practices by focusing on questions such as the following:

  • What are the challenges of working learners?
  • What does the day in the life of a working learner look like?
  • What are examples of working learner successes and how do we replicate them?
  • What are the best learning environments and tools to enable working learners to master competencies and become lifelong learners?
  • How can employers modify hiring practices to better meet the needs of working learners?

Established by the nonprofit that operates the ACT college testing service, the ACT Foundation seeks to cultivate the success of working learners by improving access to education, creating better connections to employers and establishing more attainable career paths.

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is an Austin, TX-based national operating foundation that reaches across organizational boundaries, sectors, and the nation, to fund and develop strategic approaches to working and learning that supports working learners in their individual journeys to successful careers and lives. The ACT Foundation was endowed by ACT, a nonprofit public trust focused on helping people achieve educational and workplace success. As a private, independent foundation, the Foundation connects fifty years of data and insights to catalyze and build a National Learning Economy that will nurture the success of working learners and their families while fueling a stronger economy. Learn more at actfdn.org.