Generational Politics and the New 4th Edition of ‘An Insider’s Guide to Generation Z’
Generation Z is amazing and not annoying; social and not selfish; inclusive and not isolated; informed and not ignorant. They are resourceful individuals and savvy, informed consumers. They are far different from the often-misunderstood Millennial, yet are often classified similarly.
Generation Z is gaining a lot of attention, yet they remain a mystery to many. Generation Z (or the iGeneration), born between the years of 1995 and 2005, are approximately 13 to 23 years of age at the time of this article. This generation is about sixty million strong and primarily in the latter stages of middle school, immersed in high school or college, or have recently graduated or chosen not to attend college.
UPCEA just released the 4th edition of An Insider’s Guide to Generation Z, with the last issue written by me and four Generation Z’ers. New to the 4th edition is:
- A deeper understanding of the earlier research and additions through a perspective of the Generation Z authors. These Gen Z’ers provide insight into the research presented and commentary on the claims that are made. In the latest version, subjects such as micro-mobility, social media influencers, podcasts, esports, pets, and mental health.
- Greater insight on the understanding of either mental health challenges or a heightened awareness of how the mind and body of Generation Z are connected. Further insight on the mental health challenges of Generation Z were brought to the forefront at the 2019 UPCEA Annual Conference in Seattle where a panel of Generation Z women and their Generation X moms addressed a number of issues.
Generation Z is finding their voice. Unfortunately, the tragic events of Parkland and other school shootings has shown the generation how to gather via social networks and to have a strong physical presence through school walk-outs and other activities. In a study done by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2018, 75% of Generation Z report mass shootings as a significant source of stress. Other national issues that are significant stressors to them include rising suicide rates, climate change, the well-being of immigrant families, and sexual assault. With the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election, should a new president be elected, Generation Z will accelerate the rate of change in the issues mentioned above. With a close election expected in 2020, Generation Z could play a major role with 22 million new voters becoming eligible since the last election (in addition to the 23 million Gen Z voters that were eligible in 2016), despite their lower voter turnout rates. During this same time, while a dismal reality, about 36 million Boomers or those from the Great or Silent Generations will have died since the 2016 election. This loss is significant in terms of human lives, as well as electorally because individuals in these generations have had higher participation rates.
Generation Z will find their voice and the 2020 presidential election could be the trigger. Considering the APA report showed that 68% of Generation Z feel significantly stressed about the nation’s future, and 66% do not believe that the nation is moving toward becoming stronger, the time may have come for Generation Z to act. If the current president is re-elected, Generation Z, unlike their Millennial predecessors, will still create change, but likely at a slower pace. They will find their voice through other charges, such as renewable energy, climate change or social injustice. They will ultimately accelerate the need for change in our system of higher education in the U.S. and potentially worldwide. Colleges and universities, as evidenced with declining enrollments the past eight years and an increasing number of college closures and mergers, are lagging in a more rapidly changing economy.
If tuition rates remain high and new technologies emerge, it is likely that Generation Z and Millennials will embrace alternative credentialing of education. They already embrace a modular or deconstructed approach to many consumer products and services…why not education?
Jim Fong, UPCEA's Chief Research Officer, has extensive background in marketing at Penn State, as well as experience in private industry. Jim brings a rich understanding of the dynamics driving today’s higher education leaders, providing research-driven strategy and positioning. Jim often presents at UPCEA’s conferences, sharing vital information with attendees.
Bruce Etter, Senior Director of Research & Consulting, is responsible for developing and managing research initiatives for UPCEA Research and Consulting and its clients. He graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology and a minor in Sustainability Leadership
Trusted by the nation's top colleges and universities, UPCEA Research and Consulting provides the best value in the industry today. UPCEA's industry experts have years of experience in Online and Professional Continuing education - put them to work for you!
UPCEA Research and Consulting offers a variety of custom research and consulting options through an outcomes-focused pricing model. Find the option(s) that best suit your institution.
The UPCEA Difference
Unmatched Experience: For more than 100 years, UPCEA consultants have exclusively served the needs of online and professional continuing education programs. UPCEA consultants leverage their extensive industry expertise to expedite solutions, anticipate upcoming shifts, and offer distinct best practices, effectively aiding clients in achieving their goals.
Cost Effectiveness: As a nonprofit, member-serving organization, we provide unmatched value, allowing you to maximize limited research and consulting budgets.
Action in Motion: Our cadre of experienced, skilled authorities and expert practitioners propels you forward, translating research and consulting into impactful implementation, a distinctive hallmark of UPCEA. Our team of current and former institutional leaders will support you, turning research and consulting into action.
Mission Alignment: Like you, our mission is to enhance and expand educational opportunities and outcomes for adult and other non-traditional learners. We share your values and work in partnership with you to advance access and excellence in education.
Other UPCEA Updates + Blogs
The maturation of online learning, the explosion of AI, the continuing declines in enrollment, and the rise in the importance of ROI, for students and institutions – these are among the converging factors that are shaking up the status quo in higher education. In this environment, online and professional continuing education is poised to play…Read More
UPCEA’s experts explore the explosion of AI, maturation of online learning, enrollment declines and other factors impacting the future of higher ed. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 4, 2023) – UPCEA, the online and professional education association, today released its Predictions 2024: Insights for Online and Professional Education. In this report, UPCEA’s experts provide insights that bring…Read More
Distance Ed, Online Student Reporting, State Authorization and Other Topics Announced for Early 2024 Neg Reg | Policy Matters (November 2023)
Major Updates Distance Education, Online Student Reporting, State Authorization and Other Topics Announced for Early 2024 Negotiated Rulemaking The US Department of Education has announced a negotiated rulemaking session covering topics important to the UPCEA community including distance education, reporting for fully online students, as well as state authorization, among other topics. The announced sessions…Read More
A recent survey of students who stopped out of college suggests that giving them the opportunity to earn microcredentials and academic credit for prior learning could lure them back to higher ed. The survey of roughly 1,100 former students ages 18 to 64 was conducted in June by StraighterLine, an online course provider, and UPCEA, an…Read More
A new survey of adults who’ve dropped out of college finds that 57% have completed about half or more of the credits needed to complete a degree program. Of this group, the majority indicated they wanted to return to college to finish their degrees. Those are two of the main finding from a survey conducted…Read More
Survey: More than 50 Percent of College Stop-Outs Were at Least Halfway to Finishing at the Time of Withdrawal
New survey commissioned by StraighterLine and UPCEA delves into barriers to re-enrollment; opportunities for institutions seeking to re-engage adults with some college, but no degree WASHINGTON, (OCTOBER 31, 2023) — UPCEA , the online and professional education association, and StraighterLine today released the findings of a new survey focusing on the complex barriers and opportunities…Read More