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The Paradox of Transformative Learning Among Mid-Career Professionals

, , Royal Roads University, British Columbia, Canada

IJAVET Volume 5, Number 1, ISSN 1947-8607 Publisher: IGI Global


Royal Roads University (RRU) is a special purpose university in British Columbia, Canada. Since 1995, this university has focused primarily on multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary graduate education for working professionals. Most programs are offered in a blended online and face-to-face format, which enables adult learners to continue in their professions while they pursue their studies. While one might not expect a primarily distance education degree to be transformative, feedback from learners consistently points to the experience of transformative learning. This article explores the Master's of Arts in Leadership Studies (MA-L) program. It is proposed that there are at least three elements of the design of this program that contribute to experiences of transformation. First, the RRU Learning and Teaching Model creates a framework that can allow many learners to learn how to learn in a new way. Second, the MA-L program itself has its own competency framework that begins by priming learners to look inward before they seek to lead others. Third and finally, the first year two-week residency, completed after one month of online preparation, provides an embodied experience in what, for many, is a new way of being. This embodied experience creates an awareness of what is possible for human relationship and communication, not only in the context of their particular graduate learning cohort, but also with colleagues, family members, and friends. Taken together, these create an often unexpectedly, and somewhat paradoxically, transformative experience for mid-career professionals.


Agger-Gupta, N. & Etmanski, C. (2014). The Paradox of Transformative Learning Among Mid-Career Professionals. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology, 5(1), 35-47. IGI Global. Retrieved January 19, 2020 from .