Attracting Non Traditional Students In Post Secondary Education

1304 words - 5 pages

Despite the similarities between traditional and non-traditional students, differences in adult students’ experience of and perceptions about education make their transition to college unique. In order to be successful in recruiting and retaining non-traditional students, universities need to provide resources and incentives to this sector of students. In American in the mid 1970’s, only 30% of all jobs required higher education (Gonzalez). Today, the reality is that 63% now require post-secondary education (Gonzalez). The immense number of job losses in the last few years due to the declining economy has had a large impact on the non-traditional student population. With this growing trend in education, universities need to compete for this type of student. Many schools offer enticing packages for non-traditional students; however, others fall short in their offerings to make their university “adult friendly.” To attract this type of student, new policies, procedures and programs need to be put into place by administration in consultation with the faculty who teach these students. Attracting adult students to public universities means an investment in child care services, health care plans and financial aid along with additional privileges extending to course release and selection and admission requirements.

A majority of the non-traditional students have children and providing child care on campus would be of the utmost convince for them. University of Berkeley has an outstanding program in place to help adult students return to earn their degree (Once Upon a University, A Handbook for Student Parents). UC Berkeley offers child care on campus. In addition to offering (for a fee) child care, a student unable to afford the tuition of the child care centers can sign up for a grant to help them afford this expenditure. (Early Childhood Education Programs). Students can also opt to volunteer at the center to help defer the cost. Not only does this help the student afford care, but it would cut down the cost of this program by reducing the amount of paid staff that would be on site. In addition, to defer the cost of this program to the University, internships could be offered to students that are pursuing a degree in Elementary Education or Human Development and Family Studies. For children that are in elementary school UC Berkeley also offers transportation to and from the campus to your child’s school. Types of programs like these are invaluable to the non-traditional student. Programs such as these make attending classes easier on the non-traditional student that may not be available at the times the classes are offered due to their commitments off campus.

For a non-traditional student, financial aid is difficult to find. Most grants are tailored toward the traditional student. A substantial amount of non-traditional students are unable to quit or cut back on their career to attend classes especially when they are...

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