Conference to explore ways to serve the growing adult learner population

March 05, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Granite State College President Roxanne Gonzales will present the keynote address at the 2014 Hendrick Best Practices for Adult Learners Conference on Thursday, May 15, at the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park campus. Penn State classroom and distance learning faculty, administrators, counselors, researchers and others involved in making life more fulfilling for adult students University-wide will share their best practices during the one-day conference.

Penn State’s Commission for Adult Learners sponsors the annual conference and the Shirley Hendrick Award, named in honor of the late Shirley Hendrick, associate dean for continuing education in the Smeal College of Business and the inaugural chair of the Commission for Adult Learners. During the conference, the 2014 Hendrick Award winner will be recognized. Other recognitions for staff and faculty who provide exemplary services to adult learners also will be presented during the conference.

Gonzales began her continuing higher education career 30 years ago as an adviser working with adult students, including military and veteran students. During her presentation, she will discuss what she has observed during her career. “It’s really all about the support services we provide to adult students and the relationships that develop between students, faculty and advisers,” said Gonzales. “Even as higher education has changed, one thing has remained constant: the need for support services to ensure adult students achieve their education goals.”

Before becoming president of Granite State College, Gonzales served in a number of administrative positions in continuing higher education and federal TRIO programs (outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds). Most recently, she was academic dean of the College for Professional Studies at Regis University. Gonzales has published and presented nationally on the topics of adult learning, military and veteran education environments, online learning environments, assessment of learning and alternative programming for adult learners.

The Hendrick Conference will open with a presentation by the 2014 recipient of the Shirley Hendrick Award. Other sessions will focus on adult/veteran student initiatives, Pennsylvania postsecondary students, conversations with Penn State chancellors and adult learners, financial literacy, the needs of student veterans and working with Pennsylvania CareerLinks to help displaced workers, among other topics.

Penn State’s Commission for Adult Learners is comprised of faculty, staff and students from multiple University locations. The organization is dedicated to reviewing policies and practices that will improve the adult learner experience at Penn State.

To register for the Hendrick Conference, visit Contact Judy Wills with registration questions at or 814-863-1316.


  • Granite State College President Roxanne Gonzales

    Roxanne Gonzales, president of Granite State College, will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Hendrick Best Practices for Adult Learners Conference planned for May 15 at the HUB-Robeson Center.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 05, 2014