The Changing Student Demographic

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

Student demographics are changing–foreign, traditional, non-traditional, online. The way people access learning and research is changing. The Parthenon Group surveyed 3,200 students. Only 24% of those students were considered traditional. There is no doubt that the world has changed drastically in the last decade. Here at Gale, we know that your library plays a critical role in preparing your students, making them more successful in their courses, and helping them meet faculty expectations.

Cengage Learning, Gale’s parent company, engages students on a daily basis, asking them to “draw their day,” in order to provide us with deeper insight into what motivates students, what makes them happy, and what tasks and responsibilities take up their time. Check it out:


The non-traditional student has to balance work, life, and family – along with school work. And it’s not easy. What are libraries and publishers doing to keep up with their needs and provide tools and resources that allow them to get their course work done in the very limited time they have? Juggling children and a demanding career is no joke. I know. I live it every day. Imagine throwing courses and homework and readings and papers and exams on top of that, and a non-traditional student’s life is chaos and a true challenge.

What if you could offer your students resources that allow them to get their work done quickly and easily along with the ability to do all kinds of different things with the content?

That’s what we’ve been striving for and have accomplished here at Gale. Time spent in resources and number of searches is all great, but we want those students to find what they need and find it quickly, so they are in and out of our resources as quick as possible. Content is important, and we pride ourselves on our content (as a publisher for 60 years).

Still, our publishing and product teams work endlessly with users to make sure we’re building our electronic resources the way that students want to use them. Our Gale Artemis platforms, our InContext suite of products, InfoTrac, and GVRL, along with several new Gale Digital Collections archives that have launched/been launching this year are being built and tweaked to provide students with tools that allow them to do much more than read the content – they can use it. We’re meeting their demands for speed and accessibility while also providing quality and convenience.

You’re going to see some exciting new things coming to our products this year as we keep up with evolving student needs. You can trust us that we’re providing not only the content, but also the utility, your students need to be successful.


photoAbout the Author

Jennifer loves her children, dogs, and Jane Austen. She has a B.A. in English and Sociology from the University of Michigan, and spends her waking hours as a marketing director and feeding her family.



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