Non-traditional students comprise professionals that want to go back to school for another degree, and those that are going back to college to finish their studies. It is wrong to think that an adult aged 35 or older who didn’t finish college or has never attended college can no longer do so. Right now, there are many older adults who are returning to college, some of them with children who have already graduated.
Some are taking second degrees, while others are finishing their studies years after they’ve dropped out. Their reasons are varied. Maybe they want to fulfill their lifelong dream of getting a college degree, study something new or simply go for the sake of going. Some older adults with families and jobs are just now realizing that a college degree may be required for them to contribute more to the community and society in general. One of the common reasons is for these adults to improve their financial status, like many who are now considering jobs in an in-demand industry. For individuals 35 years old or older who want to go back to college, here are some of the options.
Go for Night Classes
You’d be surprised at how many people are going to school at night so that they can still work full-time during the day. Although not as vibrant as the day classes, night classes enable working adults to obtain their degree without losing their financial stability. Night classes are as rigorous as day classes, considering the workload and the fact that the working adult barely has time to study during the day. Weekend classes may also be required, especially if laboratory training is required.
Taking college classes needs getting used to. While assignments may be minimal, they may require paperwork, a lot of research and plenty of time for self-study. Balancing night classes and work can test a person’s persistence and patience.
Take a Few Subjects at a Time
Many colleges and universities offer degree and non-degree programs for working students who want to earn extra credits for particular courses. Non-traditional students have the option to take a few subjects to acclimatize them to the routine and then pile on some more in the next semesters. Motivation is a big part of how you can go about the classes. Many non-traditional students are more invested in their studies than regular students and take multiple courses per semester, but the work involved may overwhelm the individual, especially if the subject matter is unfamiliar.
Online study is easier because you can study at home and in your own time. But a non-traditional student might miss a lot of the interaction that comes with being in college if he or she enrolls in an online university. However, time-wise, this is a more convenient option. There is a steep learning curve to conquer for the technology required to take online courses. The individual has to learn the nuances of using the internet, navigating online libraries and sending multiple files to the course instructor. Weekly or monthly meetings may also be a part of the course, even if most of the interaction is done over the internet.
Photo credit: Voorhees College