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Joann S. Olson

Joann Olson

Joann S. Olson
Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education
Phone: 361-570-4214

Visit my Google Scholar page. 


Ph.D., Adult Education, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA), 2010

M.A., Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), 2007

B. S., Employment Relations, Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI), 1990

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Olson, J. S. (In press). Helping first-year students get “grit”: Developing tenacity and perseverance in a first-year experience course. Article accepted by The Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Olson, J. S. (In press). Do they know who we are? A starting point for enhancing the visibility of adult education programs within Schools of Education. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, 28(3).

Olson, J. S. (2016). “Chasing a passion”: First-generation college graduates at work. Education + Training, 58(4), 358-371. doi: 10.1108/ET-03-2015-0023

Olson, J. S., Autry, L., & Moe, J. (2015). Moving beyond “bookish knowledge”: Using film-based assignments to promote deep learning. Adult Learning, 27(2), 60-67. doi: 10.1177/

Olson, J. S. (2015). “No one knows what it is that I need”: Job change and on-the-job learning at a small private college. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 63(3), 141-151. doi: 10.1080/

Olson, J. S., & McCracken F. E. (2015). Is it worth the effort? The impact of incorporating synchronous lectures into an online course. Online Learning (formerly the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks), 19(2), 73-84. Retrieved from

Davis, C. A., & Olson, J. S. (Eds.). (2014). New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education Series: No. 143. Meeting the transitional needs of young adult learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. doi: 10.1002/ace.v2014.143

Olson, J. S. (2014). Opportunities, obstacles, and options: First-generation college graduates and social cognitive career theory. Journal of Career Development, 41(3), 199-217. doi: 10.1177/0894845313486352

Refereed Conference Presentations

Olson, J. S. & Rice, M. H. (2016, February). Mentoring versus coaching: Is this a helpful distinction? Presented at the 2016 Adult and Higher Education Alliance Conference, Orlando, FL.

Rice, M., Olson, J. S., & Lasater, M. (2015, November). Are we there yet?: Exploring the development of professional identity in career changers. Presented at the 2015 American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference, Oklahoma City, OK.

Olson, J. S. (2015). Grit and the adult learner: Should we be thinking about work ethic? Proceedings of the 56th Annual Adult Education Research Conference, Manhattan, KS, May 20-23, 2015, pp. 406-407. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University.

Olson, J. S. (2015, October). Grit and perseverance in a first-year seminar class. Presented at the 2015 Bridges to Success Summit, Victoria, TX.

Olson, J. S. (2013). Chasing possibilities: First-generation college graduates negotiate past and future selves. Proceedings of the 54th Annual Adult Education Research Conference, St. Louis, MO, 31 May-2 June 2013, pp. 200-205. St. Louis, MO: University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Honors and Awards

Research and Scholarly Activity Award, Office of the Provost, University of Houston-Victoria, 2015

Outstanding Scholarly Activity Award,School of Education, Health Professions and Human Development, University of Houston-Victoria, 2015

Junior Faculty Summer Research Grant Recipient, University of Houston-Victoria, 2014

Outstanding Teaching Award, School of Education and Human Development, University of Houston-Victoria, 2013-2014

Student’s Choice Faculty Award, presented for “Outstanding Service to Students” by the Student Government Association, University of Houston-Victoria, 2014