Educational Options for non Traditional Students

Today’s non-traditional student has more options than ever before to pursue that long awaited dream of earning a college degree. Universities are continually expanding their programs in order to be able to fit the changing needs of all students in an evolving and dynamic society.

Whether you possess a full time job, have children, work a varying shift or simply are crunched for time, you can usually find a higher educational option that meets your needs. The possibilities for non-traditional students are endless, and if one school doesn’t match your needs, there is high probability another one will.

You can take classes on the web, at night, weekends, at extension sites closer to home or even pursue a degree through a mentoring program. The choices are vast and designed to meet individual needs to afford a higher level of much needed customization.

Today’s degree programs do not demand you go to school full time, and depending on whether or not you apply for financial aid, nor do you always even have to be matriculated until you are ready to claim a major.

Here are a few brief descriptions of how the non-traditional can pursue higher education:

*Online Classes

Classes located on the web have exploded in popularity. What began as a small experimental extension of distance learning via video-tape and television has grown into full time degree programs.

Today’s students can take classes from the comforts of home at any hour of the day in a structured, yet flexible environment. If you want to log-in at 2:00 a.m. and hand in an assignment in your pajamas, you can do this.

If you have small children and do not have someone to mind them so you can attend school in the traditional classroom, the online platform allows a customization so you can take as few or many classes as you like. You can sit with your kids and work in your virtual classroom.

The beauty of the availability of courses on the web is the possibilities are tremendous. You can choose from a university that is completely located online or you can mix and match your classes with traditional classroom studies to give some diversity and flexibility.

*Night or Weekend Courses

Colleges have recognized the need for flexibility in schedule and many have created schedules to allow the non-traditional student an opportunity to enroll and purse a degree. In addition to online courses, many schools now routinely schedule night and weekend courses.

As a result of this expansion, universities have discovered an entire new market to cater to and have seen non-traditional student enrollment surge. Night and weekend courses have become a popular avenue for non-traditional students to attend classes because they take place during a time which deviates from the 9 to 5 daytime job commitments.

*College Extension Satellites

Many community college and four year universities now regularly rent space, or own their own buildings in various regional areas for students to attend classes. This cuts down on travel and makes going to college much more convenient for non-traditional students.

Many non-traditional students are attracted to the ability to take classes close to home without having to worry about traveling after a long day’s work to get to the campus.

*Mentoring Programs

Universities such as Empire State College in New York State cater specifically to the non-traditional student and offer a variety of options for adult students to pursue higher education. In this university for example you can take classes with groups of students, online environment or with a one-on-on mentor. The entire college philosophy is built upon meeting individual student needs and customization in order to offer this.

The mentoring program allows you to take your class individually and communicate either completely online or you can meet with your mentor in person once a week. This is a fascinating, unique and exciting way to study because you can truly design your own degree program to fit your schedule.

It used to be that once you got past the age of high school graduation and went to work or began a family, college was out of reach. Today’s parents, working adults or other non-traditional student have plenty of options to choose from. Pursuing higher education nowadays is totally within reach.