Joann S. Olson

Joann Olson

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

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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. (2017). Helping first-year students get “grit”: Developing tenacity and perseverance in a first-year experience course. The Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, 29(1), 99-118.

Olson, J. S. (2016). 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), 40-45. doi:10.1002/nha3.20152

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

Moe, J., Autry, L., Olson, J. S., & Johnson, K. F. (2014). Teaching group work with The Great Debaters. Counselor Education and Supervision, 53(3) 204-218. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6978.2014.00058.x

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). Transitions from formal education to the workplace. In C. A. Davis & J. S. Olson (Eds.), New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education Series: No. 143. Meeting the transitional needs of young adult learners (pp. 73-82). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. doi:10.1002/ace.20106

Refereed Conference Presentations

Olson, J. S., & Kim, J. H. (2017). “Creating what I think I should be doing”: Contradictions and learning of college job changers. Proceedings of the 58th Annual Education Research Conference, Norman, OK, June 8-11, 2017. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma.

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. (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.

Olson, J. S. (2017, March). Grit, perseverance, and the academic publishing process. Presented at the 2017 Adult and Higher Education Alliance Conference, Orlando, FL.

Olson, J. S., & Rice, M. H. (2016, November). A nudge in the right direction: Incorporating coaching into your instructional design. Presented at the 2016 American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference, Albuquerque, NM.

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