Adult College Students

Many people are returning to college long after they have already entered the job market and have had families. I believe both the student and the university or college have influenced this phenomenon. People are changing careers, need retraining in their current career and because of a longer life span may change careers again down the line. You know this is a growing trend because the colleges and universities are also creating programs for the adult student. Adult students have many more obligations and responsibilities that need to be juggled in order to fit college into their busy lives.

Due to technological advances and other generational changes in society, the jobs that many people hold now are becoming obsolete. In that same vein there are many jobs that were never heard of 20years ago. I mean can you imagine using the word “tech” park in the 1970’s. Because of this we are seeing a shift in the job market. Adults are either choosing a more promising career or are deciding that they want to try something different. In fact, we may choose to do something different more than once in our longer lives. Retirement is no longer the automatic future for aging adults. Better health and well being are creating a work force that encompasses a much older worker.

If there is any doubt about this trend continuing take a look at the colleges and universities. There have been many “mail order” or on-line colleges begging for our attention on television for years. I’m sure that their enrollment is up now also however they are not the colleges I’m referring to. I’m talking about the community, state and private colleges that have been around forever. They knew what was happening and have been preparing on-line courses with the adult student in mind. In fact, many now offer complete associate, bachelor and master degrees on line! I speak from experience. At the ripe old age of forty-four I will be returning to one of these colleges this November.

The best part of that is that it won’t cost me any extra gas money! My classes will all be on-line and I will earn a SUNY (State University of New York) degree. If this program were not available I would most likely never be able to earn my degree. I have tried to go back to college twice since I started my family. Both times didn’t work out because of the time it took from my children. I know what you’re thinking, just because the classes are on-line doesn’t mean there won’t be a time commitment right? Right, however I choose the time to be at online instead of a professor giving a class on campus when I have to take my son to playground. In this way I am able to run my restaurant, be a great mom and wife and earn my degree in human services. In this way SUNY Empire State College has given me a greater chance of success.

There is a trend of adult students heading back to school, this is a fact. Colleges and universities have identified this trend and are continuing to create programs to attract this new student. What a wonderful development in our society. For once aging doesn’t mean ending- it means beginning over and over and over again!