Lifelong Learning on Tap series starts with imposter syndrome

headshot: Glenna Decker, instructional designer for IDeL
Glenna Decker, instructional designer for IDeL, will give a presentation for adult learners on impostorship.
Image credit - courtesy photo
woman on chair addressing room of people
Alumna Julie Wesselink addresses participants at a 2018 Lifelong Learning on Tap event.
Image credit - University Communications

The imposter syndrome, when someone doubts their accomplishments or feels inadequate, is a common phenomenon and one that particularly resonates with adult learners.

Glenna Decker, instructional designer for IDeL (Instructional Design for eLearning), said impostorship was coined in the 1970s and most people have experienced it, herself included. After researching the topic, Decker included it when she taught classes in the College of Education's adult and higher education program. She will give a presentation to adult learners on impostorship this week.

"It's one of the realities of adult learners but they don't talk about it," she said. "It's the feeling of sitting in class, looking around and feeling like everyone else belongs there except you. 'You are a fraud and not good enough.'"

Decker added one way to combat impostorship is to talk about with others. "If we can all have the courage to talk about it, we'll find out that most people feel the same way at one point or another," she said.

Decker will give a short presentation on impostorship during a Lifelong Learning on Tap meeting on Thursday, August 15. The series is now in its second year and hosted by the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies; a schedule of fall semester meetings is below.

Kate VanDerKolk, student services coordinator, said the idea behind Lifelong Learning on Tap is to offer adult learners university services and resources, while building community, in an informal setting. All meetings are held at DeHops Brewing Company and Café, 363 Cummings Ave. NW in Walker, and run from 5:30-7 p.m. 

The schedule for fall semester meeting is below. Visit the website at to see details.

• August 15: "Impostorship, Authenticity and Belonging"

• September 19: "Beers and Books: Meet Your Library"

• October 17: "Fall into Finance"

• November 21: "Mindfulness, Yoga and Meditation"

• December 19: End of Year Celebration



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