Being a non-traditional student can be overwhelming. Most colleges still promote and recruit traditional age high school students. Meeting a non-traditional student’s needs on a college campus is a must for any college, if they plan on retaining adult students until they obtain their baccalaureate degree.
When adult students are looking for a college to attend, there are four components they need to investigate before starting. An adult student needs to verify if the college has a non-traditional student organization or association, an opportunity to form positive relationships, a community resource list, and a mentoring program for adult students.
Non-traditional Student Organization or Association
The adult student should inquire regarding offices and campus associations that solely cater to adult students which will serve to be extremely beneficial. If a college has a non-traditional association/organization this could be a positive sign that the college is interested in meeting adult students needs.
Non-traditional students need to have a positive relationship with their advisors and professors. The advisor should be patient and explain all of the college lingo so the adult student will feel empowered while they are being advised on what classes to take.
Some professors on college campuses welcome their students to contact them regularly, and then some do not. Therefore, it is advised that the non-traditional student communicate to the professor how important it is to get a good understanding of how to be successful in the classroom.
Community Resource List
Although providing a community resource list to non-traditional students may not be the traditional thing a college representative or office would do, it is definitely a great relationship builder.
Some non-traditional students are: re-creating their lives, single parents, caregivers, forced into retirement, unemployed, and working full time. A community resource list that is available to adult students will assist in empowering the students off campus as well as on campus.
Mentoring Program on Campus
Having a mentoring program for returning adults would definitely ensure student retention for the college, and a mentor would help empower the student overall on campus.
Having a mentor to meet with once a week can equate to a coaching session where the student and mentor talk about a variety of different issues.
In conclusion, whether the college has all components or not it is suggested that adult students look for these types of needs before selecting which school to attend.