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The Millennial Generation: Implications for Teaching and Learning at Achieving the Dream Colleges. Winter Strategies Institute - January 21-24, 2007 Achieving the Dream. Terri Manning Bobbie Everett Cheryl Roberts. A Study Funded by the Workforce Development Board.

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the millennial generation implications for teaching and learning at achieving the dream colleges

The Millennial Generation:Implications for Teaching and Learning at Achieving the Dream Colleges

Winter Strategies Institute - January 21-24, 2007 Achieving the Dream

Terri Manning

Bobbie Everett

Cheryl Roberts

A Study Funded by the Workforce Development Board

it may take a village to raise a child but it takes a society to raise a generation

It May Take a Village to Raise a Child, but it Takes a Society to Raise a Generation

Economic Conditions

Societal Norms

Political Events

Major Crises

each generation
Each Generation
  • Consists of approximately a 20-year span (not all demographers and generation researchers agree on the exact start/stop dates)
  • Has a unique set of values
  • Looks at their generation as the standard of comparison
  • They are either idealistic, reactive, civic or adaptive
the veterans also known as the silent generation or the greatest generation 1925 1943 adaptive
The Veterans (also known as the Silent Generation or the Greatest Generation) 1925–1943 (adaptive)
  • Core Values
    • Dedication
    • Hard Work
    • Conformity
    • Law and Order
    • Patience
    • Delayed Reward
    • Duty before Pleasure
    • Adherence to Rules
    • Honor
the veterans
The Veterans
  • Children of the Great Depression and WWII, this generation decided not to attack the institutions created by the generation before them, but instead, as global thinkers, they chose to focus on improving and refining them so that they could be good for everyone, not just a select few.
  • The overall goal was not to change the system, but to work within it.
  • While economically very successful, they were also the inventors of "the midlife crises" probably because they didn't get a chance to enjoy the freedoms of their youth.
the veterans6
The Veterans

Important Events

  • Lindbergh Completes First Transatlantic Flight
  • Stock Market Crash
  • Depression
  • The New Deal
  • Social Security
  • Pearl Harbor
  • The End of WWII
  • FDR Dies
  • Korean War
cultural memorabilia for the veterans
Cultural Memorabilia for the Veterans
  • Kewpie Dolls
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Flash Gordon
  • Radio
  • Wheaties
  • Tarzan
  • Jukeboxes
  • Blondie
  • The Lone Ranger
  • The McCarthy Era
the veteran generation childhood
The Veteran Generation Childhood
  • Raised by the GI Generation (civic)
  • Large families (3-5 children)
  • Strong sense of extended family (same town or home)
  • Grandparents in the home
  • Average 10-year-old spent 4-6 hours daily with a significant adult role model
  • Rural society
  • Apprenticeship businesses and farming
  • Perception of the world as “safe”
the baby boomers 1943 1964 the largest generation idealist
The Baby Boomers 1943–1964 (the largest generation, idealist)
  • Core Values
    • Optimism
    • Team Orientation
    • Personal Gratification
    • Health and Wellness
    • Personal Growth
    • Youth
    • Work
    • Involvement
baby boomers
Baby Boomers

Important Events

  • Rosa Parks
  • First Nuclear Power Plant
  • The Civil Rights Act
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
  • John Glen Orbits the Earth
  • Martin Luther King Leads March on Washington, D.C.
  • President John F. Kennedy Assassination
  • National Organization for Women Founded
  • Martin Luther King Assassination
  • Robert F. Kennedy Assassination
  • Watergate
  • Kent State Massacre
  • Vietnam War
cultural memorabilia for baby boomers
Cultural Memorabilia for Baby Boomers
  • Television
  • The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Barbie Dolls
  • Fallout Shelters
  • Poodle Skirts
  • Pop Beads
  • Slinkies
  • TV Dinners
  • Hula Hoops
  • The Peace Sign
  • Laugh In
the baby boomer childhood
The Baby Boomer Childhood
  • Divorce reached a low in 1960 of 9%
  • Families moved due to GI Bill, GI housing and industrialization
  • First generation to live miles from extended family
  • Family size smaller (2-3 children)
  • Few grandparents in the home
  • Moms stayed home
  • Dads carpooled
  • Children spent significant time with adult role models
  • Perception of the world as “safe”
baby boomer results
Baby-boomer Results
  • Very idealistic - banned together and walked through life as a major force in society
  • Generation gap occurred between them and their parents
  • They weren’t friendly toward authority figures
  • Did not get along with their parents and swore they would not raise their kids like they were raised
  • As adults - work an average of 55 hours per week
the gen xers 1965 1982
The Gen Xers 1965–1982
  • A Lost Generation… A Nomadic Generation…..
  • Half the Size of the Baby Boom (reactive)
  • Core Values
    • Dedication
    • Hard Work
    • Conformity
    • Law and Order
    • Patience
    • Delayed reward
    • Duty before pleasure
    • Adherence to rules
    • Honor
gen x
Gen X

Important Events

  • Women’s Liberation Protests
  • Watergate Scandal
  • Energy Crisis begins
  • Tandy and Apple Market PCs
  • Mass Suicide in Jonestown
  • Three Mile Island
  • US Corporations begin Massive Layoffs
  • Iran Hostage Crisis
  • John Lennon Shot and Killed
  • Ronald Reagan Inaugurated
  • Challenger Disaster
  • Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker Spill
cultural memorabilia for gen x
Cultural Memorabilia for Gen X
  • The Brady Bunch
  • Pet Rocks
  • Platform Shoes
  • The Simpsons
  • Evening Soaps (Dallas and Dynasty)
  • ET
  • Cabbage Patch Dolls
  • Super-hero Cartoons on TV (He-man)
generation x
Generation X
  • This is the conscientious, extremely pragmatic, self-sufficient generation that has a ruthless focus on the bottom-line.
  • Born and raised at a time when children were at the bottom of our social priorities, Gen Xers learned that they could only count on one thing - themselves. As a result, they are very "me" oriented.
  • They are not active voters, nor are they deeply involved in politics in general.
the gen x childhood
The Gen X Childhood
  • Divorce reached an all-time high
  • Single-parent families became the norm
  • Latch-key kids were a major issue of the time
  • Children not as valued – looked at as a hardship
  • Families spread out (miles apart)
  • Family size = 1.7 children (many only-children)
  • Perception of the world as “unsafe”
  • Average 10 year old spent 14 ½ minutes a day with a significant adult role model
  • Parents looked around and said – we need to do this better
the echo boom millennials
The Echo Boom/Millennials…
  • The Millennials are almost as large as the baby boom-some say larger - depending on how you measure them (approx. 81M).
  • The Millennials are the children born between 1982 and 2002 (peaked in 1990), a cohort called by various names:

Echo Boom

Generation Y


Net Generation

the millennial childhood
The Millennial Childhood
  • The most monumental financial boom in history.
  • Steady income growth through the 1990’s.
  • Still great disparity between races.
  • Saw their parents lose all their stocks and mutual funds (college funds) during the early 2000’s.
demographic trends
Demographic Trends
  • The Baby Boomers chose to become older parents in the 1980s
  • Gen X moms reverted back to the earlier birth-age norm, which meant that two generations were having babies.
  • Millennials have older largely Baby Boomer parents: Average age of mothers at birth at an all time high of 27 in 1997.
demographic trends cont
Demographic Trends, cont.
  • Smaller families: Only children will comprise about 10% of the population.
  • More parental education: 1 in 4 has at least one parent with a college degree.
  • Kids born in the late ‘90s are the first in American history whose mothers are better educated than their fathers by a small margin.
demographic trends changing diversity
Demographic Trends – Changing Diversity
  • Increase in Latino immigration - Latino women tend to have a higher fertility rates than non-Latino women.
  • Nearly 35% of Millennials are nonwhite or Latino.
  • Twenty percent of this generation has at least one parent who is an immigrant.
  • Millennials have become the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in US History.
safety issues
Safety Issues

The Safest Generation

  • This generation was buckled up in car seats, wore bike helmets, elbow and knee pads when skating, and were the inspiration for “Baby on Board” signs.

Seen Increases in

    • seat belt usage, general health status, attention span deficit disorder

We’ve Seen a Decrease in:

    • mortality rates, motor vehicle accidents, violent crime, fighting, carrying weapons to school, hours spent watching TV, drug usage
major influencing factors
Major Influencing Factors
  • Their parents
  • The self-esteem movement
  • The customer service movement
  • Gaming and technology
  • Casual communication
parenting millennials
Parenting Millennials
  • This generation is being parented by well-educated, over-involved adults who participate in “deliberate parenting.” They have outcomes in mind.
  • Boomers were the first generation to be thrown out in to an unsafe world as adolescents.
  • The 60’s and 70’s were very scary and many of us felt unprepared for it.
  • We were naïve and didn’t have enough tools in our tool box to deal with it.
baby boomers as parents
Baby Boomers as Parents
  • Boomers rebelled against the parenting practices of their parents.
  • Strict discipline was the order of the day for boomers.
  • They made conscious decisions not to say “because I told you so” or “because I’m the parent and you’re the child.”
  • Boomers became more “friendly” with their children. They wanted to have open lines of communication and a relationship with them.
baby boomers as parents29
Baby Boomers as Parents
  • They explained things to their children, (actions, consequences, options, etc.) – they wanted them to learn to make informed decisions.
  • They allowed their children to have input into family decisions, educational options and discipline issues.
  • We told them “just because it is on television doesn’t mean it’s true” or “you can’t believe everything you read.”
  • We wanted them to question authority.
the result
The Result
  • Millennials have become “a master set of negotiators” who are capable of rational thought and decision-making skills at young ages.
  • They will negotiate with anyone including their parents, teachers and school administrators.
  • Some call this “arguing.”
  • Perceived as an irrational sense of entitlement.
helicopter parents
Helicopter Parents
  • Helicopter Parent (n)A parent who hovers over his or her children.
  • Or Snowplow parent: Parents who clear the way for their children
  • ……these (echo) boomers are confident, achievement-oriented and used to hovering "helicopter" parents keeping tabs on their every move. (Anthony DeBarros, "New baby boom swamps colleges," USA Today, January 2, 2003)
helicopter parent go to college
Helicopter Parent go to College
  • A new generation of over-involved parents are flooding campus orientations, meddling in registration and interfering with students' dealings with professors, administrators and roommates, school officials say.
  • Some of these hovering parents, whose numbers have been rising for several years, are unwittingly undermining their children's chances of success, campus administrators say. Now, universities and colleges are moving rapidly to build or expand programs aimed at helping parents strike a better balance.

Colleges Ward Off Overinvolved ParentsBy Sue ShellenbargerFrom The Wall Street Journal Online

baby boomer parents have been their biggest cheerleaders
Baby Boomer Parents have been their Biggest Cheerleaders
  • Millennials expect and need praise.
  • Will mistake silence for disapproval.
  • Millennials expect feedback.
parental care in the millennial era
Parental Care in the Millennial Era
  • Today’s typical family is spending more, not less, time with kids.
  • Smaller families mean more time with each child.
  • Fathers are spending more time with children.
  • Less housework is being done.
  • There is a strong connection between the social lives of parents and kids.
  • They get along with their parents and share their parents’ values.
focus on self esteem
Focus on Self-esteem
  • This generation was the center of the “self-esteem” movement.
  • 9,068 books were written about self-esteem and children during the 80s and 90s (there were 485 in the 70s).
  • The state of California spent millions studying the construct and published a document entitled “Toward a State of Self-esteem.”
  • Yet they can’t escape the angst of adolescence – they still feel disconnected, question their existence, purpose and the meaning of life. They want to feel valued and cared about.
focus on customer service
Focus on Customer Service
  • Expect access (24/7)
  • Expect things to work like they are supposed to
  • If they don’t “that is your problem”
  • They want what they have paid for
  • Everything comes with a toll-free number or web address
  • Want a “system restore” option in classes
add the impact of gaming
Add the Impact of Gaming
  • Gaming has impacted children
    • The game endings changed based on the decisions children made (Role Playing Games [Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Chronotrigger]) impacting locus of control.
    • Involves a complex set of decision- making skills.
    • Teaches them to take multiple pieces of data and make decisions quickly.
    • Learning more closely resembles Nintendo, a trial and error approach to solving problems.
  • This generation has been plugged in since they were babies.
  • They grew up with educational software and computer games.
  • They think technology should be free.
  • They want and expect services 24/7.
  • They do not live in an 8–5 world.
  • They function in an international world.
millennials want to learn
Millennials Want to Learn
  • With technology
  • With each other
  • Online
  • In their time
  • In their place
  • Doing things that matter (most important)

Source: Achievement and the 21st Century Learner.

by age 21
By age 21…..
  • It is estimated that the average child will have:
    • Spent 10,000 hours playing video games
    • Sent 200,000 emails
    • Spent 20,000 hours watching TV
    • Spent 10,000 hours on their cell phone
    • Spent under 5,000 hours reading
  • But these are issues of income. Will a child who grows up in a low income household have these same experiences?

Source: Educause

the information age mindset
The “Information Age” Mindset
  • Students have never known life without the computer. It is an assumed part of life.
  • The Internet is a source of research, interactivity, and socializing (they prefer it over TV).
  • Doing is more important than knowing.
  • There is zero tolerance for delays.
  • The infrastructure and the lecture tradition of colleges may not meet the expectations of students raised on the Internet and interactive games.
cell phone technology
Cell Phone Technology
  • They all have cell phones and expect to be in contact 24/7.
  • Not a phone – a lifestyle management tool
  • Staying “connected” is essential.
  • Communication is a safety issue for parents.
  • Communication has become casual for students (IM, email and cell phones.
  • How has this changed how they interact with faculty?
what about 1st generation students
What About 1st Generation Students?
  • Not all students will be proficient; first-generation and students from low income or working class families may have less experience.
  • Their experience with technology has been in arcades and minimally in school (poorer districts.)
  • They have not had the exposure to educational uses of technology.
  • We need another placement test – remedial keyboarding and technology.
  • Huge digital divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” based on income levels (class).
take a look at a large urban k 12 school district
Take a Look at a Large Urban K-12 School District

*Other include all but White and African American. It includes 20,843 (17.7%) students.

once in college
Once in College
  • Many of our students have had little academic success in the past.
  • They have been functioning below grade level since early elementary school.
  • Computer skills are also lower.
  • They come to college and we test them using a computer.
  • They test into remedial courses but don’t take them.
  • They enroll in courses they aren’t prepared for.
  • They also take distance ed classes (require more motivation and discipline).
cpcc students how satisfied are you with the format in which the online course was offered
CPCC Students: How satisfied are you with the format in which the online course was offered?
a split generation
A Split Generation
  • A large portion are doing exceptionally well in school. They are reversing some downward trends. All the technology has served as supplemental educational support for this group.
  • Then another group is the victim of the digital divide which shows up as early as kindergarten.
sat scores a twenty year reversal
SAT Scores – a Twenty Year Reversal

Millennials Taking SAT

Highest SAT Scores in 35 Years

sat 2006 college bound seniors by gender and test component
SAT 2006 College-bound Seniors by Gender and Test Component

22.1% scored over 600 on any of the three areas, 16.2% scored below 400 on any of the three areas.

What Do Businesses and Colleges/ Universities Need to Know about Today’s College Students and Graduates

Here Come the Girls

boys and their educational choices
Boys and Their Educational Choices

The Boys Project.

first time freshman enrollments by gender 50 years numbers in thousands
First Time Freshman Enrollments by Gender – 50 Years (numbers in thousands)



college graduation projections numbers in thousands 61 of degrees will go to women
College Graduation Projections (numbers in thousands) (61% of degrees will go to women)





  • Most popular college majors:
  • Medicine
  • Education/teaching
  • Business and marketing
  • Engineering
  • Law and politics
  • Computer science
  • Most sought after qualities in careers:
  • Idealistic and committed co-workers
  • Responsibility
  • Independence
  • Creativity
  • Most common job trends :
  • Seek security & benefits
  • Stay with company that offers a challenge
  • Multi-taskers
  • Change Careers

Source: Industry Week, March, 1998.

true multi taskers
True Multi-taskers
  • Millennials have lived programmed lives and are already quite capable of learning several jobs simultaneously and performing them admirably.
  • Millennials will change careers many times.
  • Retooling and recycling their skills and talents will become common.
  • To retain them, smart employers will encourage Millennials to try out different careers within the same company.
need for services
Need for Services
  • It is estimated that 3 million Millennials have been diagnosed with ADHD and have been medicated (80% are boys).
  • Within student populations, the number with disabilities has jumped from 3% to 9%.
    • Many have had individual education plans.
    • Many need testing services (quiet, separate).
    • Need to self-advocate to teachers.
    • Major transition from high school to college.
issues for schools colleges and universities in an information age
Issues for Schools, Colleges and Universities in an Information Age
  • Plagiarism (consumer/creator blurring)
  • Cheating (must define it)
  • Cell Phone Policies
  • Typing vs. Handwriting
  • Use of Paper Mills

From: The Information Age Mindset: Changes in Students and Implications for Higher Education. By Jason L. Frand. Educause. Sep/Oct 2000.

2004 research study
2004 Research Study
  • Central Piedmont Community College’s Center for Applied Research was contracted to do this study by the Workforce Development Board.
    • Data collected January–March 2004 from the University of NC at Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College and Johnson C. Smith University.

Funded By:

some major themes from the study
Some Major Themes From the Study
  • They like teachers who pay attention to their needs, schedules and interests.
  • They like working in teams but are not given a lot of opportunity to do so.
  • Their job expectations immediately out of college are not as high as previous generations (65% expect to earn 40K or less).
  • They want to do meaningful work (more important than money)
some major themes
Some Major Themes
  • They expect to have 4–6 jobs in their lifetime.
  • They expect to someday acquire the lifestyle they grew up with.
  • They expect to have a 2-income family.
  • Security and time for family are the two most important quality of life variables.
  • Think their parents did a great job and don’t think their generation can improve family life over how their parents raised them.
how they will push us
How They Will Push Us…
  • More independence in the workforce
  • Consumer-based fairness
  • Better technology
  • Enhanced professional development
  • Re-examine policies and procedures (get rid of “that’s the way we’ve always done it”)
  • Have more life balance
  • Re-establish priorities
so how do we work with them
So How Do We Work With Them?
  • Because they have grown up in a different world, never assume that they know certain things like:
    • You don’t want to talk to their mother when they are having problems.
    • You don’t get points for showing up or an A for effort.
    • The definition of plagiarism and cheating.
    • It’s not appropriate to call the professor at home after 9pm.
    • They can’t use IM language in papers.
    • It’s not okay to email the professor 10 times a day.
    • That when they email you at 3am, you’re not sitting on the other end waiting to respond to them.
    • The business office (and most others) close at 5pm.
some major issues worth addressing
Some Major Issues Worth Addressing
  • Some of them have been performing below grade level all their lives… and they may not know it (age of social promotion).
  • Mild interventions are not enough.
  • You may be the first strict grader they have encountered.
  • They are not good planners and will do everything late if allowed.
  • Many are not very “hardy.” Will quit or drop out because “it’s hard.”
  • They are very good consumers and will figure out a way to stay “under the radar.”
what should institutions do in the classroom
What Should Institutions Do (In the Classroom)?
  • Develop policies and practices around appropriate communication (by department).
  • Give them electronic access to as much as is philosophically possible.
  • Draw a line on negotiations.
  • Give them definitions, boundaries and rules.
what should institutions do
What Should Institutions Do?
  • Stop existing in an 8-5 world.
  • Establish prerequisites for reading and writing intensive courses.
  • Force them to take developmental courses the first semester (don’t set them up to fail).
  • Look at reading level issues in science, math and gateway courses.
  • Stop letting them register late, hand in late work and procrastinate.
issues of late registration
Issues of Late Registration
  • Tracked four cohorts
    • Those who participated in pre-registration (in spring for fall)
    • Those registered one full week before fall term
    • Those registered by the first week of class
    • Those who registered during drop/add (not schedule adjusters)
what should institutions do83
What Should Institutions Do?
  • Don’t let them take online courses if they are not tech savvy and don’t possess the motivation to complete.
  • Train all faculty to detect and work with low performing students (especially in gate keeper courses).
what should institutions do84
What Should Institutions Do?
  • Look into what is known about learning.
  • Try to actively engage them.
  • Engage them in group-oriented activities
    • Service learning
    • Study groups
    • Supplemental instruction
    • Learning communities
what should institutions do85
What Should Institutions Do?
  • Create alterative ways for the low-tech students to come up to speed.
    • Basic keyboarding skills.
    • Special workshops or lab sessions on the basics.
    • Help them master software that “will do work for them.”
    • Get access to computers (refurbished, community projects, grants, etc.)
one final word
One Final Word
  • In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.(Roger Allen)
who are they
Who Are They?
  • A new “Silent Generation” referred to as Generation Z, Generation Alpha or the Homeland Generation.
  • Starts mid-2000’s until about 2017 to 2020 and will be considered an artist generation:
    • Artists are subtle, indecisive, emotional and compromising, often having to deal with feelings of repression and inner conflict. They grow up as over-protected children, come of age as sensitive young adults, rebel as indecisive midlife leaders and become empathic elders (like those born 1925-1942).

generation z
Generation Z
  • Will be raised on technology, they will not be scared of anything, they will be open to new ideas.
  • They will be into truth and loyalty and they will not be not afraid to voice their opinion.
  • They will be flexible and open to change.
  • They will be fearless and fun.
  • They will be the ‘new’ hope for our own future.
  • Their great-grandparents belong mostly to the Silent Generation and the Baby boomers form the core of their grandparents.
  • Their parents are divided between Generation X and Generation Y.

For a copy of this presentation:

Click on: “studies and reports”

Contact: [email protected]