How to get nontraditional students to attend college… There are a few ways I’ll admit to interest a potential and tenative mind into attending the great American lecture hall-system, granted they rely on honesty, for which no optimist or guidance counselor could ever admit to openly.
Step 1: Remind or inform the subject (yes, subject) that although they are going off to academia, they will not always be in or even around the epicenter of human enlightenment that some are convinced rests in the heart of the institution. Instead, tell of the deadlines, the random assignments, the hours and hours of general education credits that will need to be amassed to merely begin your college education. Let them in on the secret that colleges are businesses, which is why they have gift shops, resteraunts, concerts, events, even parades and carnivals. Inform the subject of their fate to be judged over and over again by proffessors who earned their merits in similair situations in similair institutions. But the most important thing to be passed onto the “nontraditional student” is that they may not be getting an education, but building research skills, and learning how to handle schedules, deadlines and projects.
Step 2: Repeat over and over again in times of doubt that “Yes it’s expensive but it’s worth the money to get that degree (or you might substitute “that education” instead of degree)”. Now this may be the most important step out of this entire article, because a sane human being won’t justify spending the thousands and thousands of dollars on something they don’t even know if they need. Mind you the financial issue reminds us of why most of went to, are going to, or are attending college. THE MONEY. It’s hard to find a decent job with decent pay and benefits unless you have your time in at college. Whether you went for an associates at your local community college (Guilty), or you’ve spent yourself into a lifelong debt spending your college time at a state or private school, you will come out of it making more money from the starting line than if you hadn’t walked the path. This is when you have to repeat that little phrase over and over again, because if the student is “nontraditional” they may either have a career path set, or a family, or they may not just be cut out for college, they will question the time and money spent versus the potential gain. And if they do question that, push business classes, because they’re making a management level decision.
I would like to section this part of the article for the scowls and “well I know a friend…” comments running through any heads. Odds are if you know a hundred happy people who went to college and do what they loved and get paid for it very handsomely, they had intent on getting their education already. This is intended for people who aren’t jaded by the curtain of education. Yes, you get more money for better jobs later on in your lives, and in that aspect an education is somewhat worth the time and money. But if you’re interested in a real education, in pure learning and understanding of life and the world around you, I’d bet that a library card costs a lot less than any college cost you’ll have to pay. Because what is college? It’s spending 500 dollars in books, reading them and asking questions/doing assignments to either hammer the knowledge into your mind or to make sure you know it correctly. And is that really education? Is that the kind of thing you’d pay money for? And then to give the same establishment the opportunity to fail you, or not let you graduate? If you went to McDonalds and asked for a hamburger, and they said “We can give you the hamburger you want, but you have to pay us for it and then go make it yourself, but if you don’t make it to our standards, you can’t have it and we keep the money you spent while trying to make it” would you say “Oh yes, sign me up for that hamburger” or look at it as a lost cause, go home and make your own hamburger just the way you like it? Because education doesn’t have to happen at colleges, it doesn’t have to happen at schools and institutions. There are so few voices speaking up about a lack of post-collegiate education, or the possibilities of education not taking place in the appointed institutions that it’s offenive.
So think before you enroll, consider your motives greatly before you make any decisions because you might not find what you’re looking for at college. Enjoy your life either way, you have control over your lives and nobody should be able to take that away from you.