The study explored the influence of work experience on adult part-time students' academic success as defined by their cumulative grade point average. The sample consisted of 614 part-time students from four polytechnic institutions in Malaysia. The study identified six factors to measure the perceived influence of work experiences—positive belief, negative belief, intrinsic motivation, learning orientation, deep learning approach, and surface learning approach. The results indicated that lower academic success was associated with higher negative belief, lower intrinsic motivation and adopting surface learning approach. Students with a deeper learning approach, greater intrinsic motivation, and greater learning orientation tended to perceive higher positive belief. In contrast, students who favored surface learning approaches were more likely to perceive negatively the impact of work experiences on their academic learning. The best-fitted path model demonstrated students' academic success was affected negatively by negative belief and weakly by intrinsic motivation. Other factors did not have significant direct effects on students' academic success. These findings suggest that the success of adult part-time students does not rely on their positive attitude alone, but also could depend on the effectiveness of the classroom environment, teaching and learning strategies, and assessment methods.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mack_shelley/11/