Revision with unchanged content. In contemporary society, high school students and early career adults face a bewildering variety of postsecondary educational choices; working adults may find that career advancement or transition will require new types of information literacy skills or other postsecondary education. Forces such as the information explosion, access to the Internet, and economic globalization are influencing careers and changing the educational landscape. At American colleges and universities, nontraditional enrollment patterns are becoming increasingly commonplace, as students—and institutions—adapt to a new socio-cultural environment. Based on an innovative research design, employing a national sample of household education survey data and multi-phase statistical analysis, this empirical study evaluates the influence of contextual characteristics and student motivations on postsecondary participation in credential programs, including vocational/technical as well as college/university programs. In addition to researchers in the social sciences and higher education policy makers, this book is for anyone with an interest in educational preparation and skills for the 21st century workplace.