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UOPX survey shows getting a degree can inspire future generations

2,000 respondents reveal how their role models inspire them to pursue lifelong learning, higher education

You sit down at the kitchen table, exhausted after a long day at work. Dinner has been cleared, the dishes done, the house is settling down for the night. But not you, you’re getting back to work. You open up your laptop to start on today’s assignment, the next step toward getting your degree.

For many working adults going back to school, this is the process of reaching career goals. But what do your children see in this moment? Most likely, their role model.

Parents serving as a role model to their children can make a profound impact in promoting the importance of education, according to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans about their role models, conducted by OnePoll for University of Phoenix. The survey found that most of us have at least one role model who has influenced our major life decisions – a big one being the idea to pursue education. About three-fourths, believe young people’s perception of education is influenced by their role model.

According to the survey, a role model’s impact goes beyond perception and sometimes can even affect the decision to make education a priority. In fact, of the 74 percent of the respondents who said that they have had a role model, 55 percent said that their role model motivated them to pursue higher education. Even more respondents shared that their role model encouraged them to continue learning beyond the classroom. Eighty-six percent said that their role model encouraged them to be a lifelong learner.

University Provost Dr. John Woods said he hears from UOPX students all the time about the impact their studies have on their kids.

“I’ve heard from many University of Phoenix students that when they sat down to do their homework, often times their kids would be watching them do it,” Woods said. “And then they’d go to their backpacks and pull out their homework and come back and sit right next to them at the table, working on their homework together.”

In fact, Dr. Woods said that when parents go back to school, their kids are much more likely to pursue a higher education themselves. If one of your parents is a college graduate, he said you are nearly twice as likely to earn your degree.

Role models can affect other areas of our lives as well. Another finding from the survey highlights the importance of role models being involved in their community. Of the 56 percent of respondents who believe they are a role model for others, most believe they have become a role model because they are making a difference in their local community.