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University of Arizona alum identifies ‘Generation Z’ as new class of students

PHOENIX — A University of Arizona alumni has identified a new generation of students currently entering higher education in a recent study.

University of Arizona alumni Corey Seemiller defined “Generation Z” as students born from 1995 to 2010 and are currently between the ages of 5 and 20.

Seemiller, who is now a professor at Wright State University in Ohio, recently published results from a study on the educational motivations and learning styles of Generation Z.

“They are a social change-minded generation, that cares about the people around them…compassionate and they’re loyal and they’re a ‘we’ generation,” she said. “They believe that they can change the world, and they likely will.”

Seemiller said the study asked “Generation Z-ers” to identify how they see themselves as people.

“Predominantly, their number one identification is loyal,” she said. “They’re also thoughtful, determined, compassionate, open-minded, and responsible.”

Generation Y, the Millennials, may be tech savvy, Seemiller said, but it’s another story for Generation Z.

“We look at Generation Z as tech-integrated,” she said. “(It’s) this idea that (technology) is so integrated into who they are that you can’t say that they’re even savvy at using it, because they’re not using it, they’re living it.”

Seemiller said this group is more financially conservative than Millennials, more grounded and more realistic. Generation Z is totally integrated with technology, but much more private in their social media, using high privacy settings, and preferring to follow rather than post.

Seemiller said there’s much to be gained by figuring out how to leverage the potential of “Generation Z-ers,” both in school and in the workplace.

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