Important Questions Adult Students Should Ask Of Any College

Success starts at the top, and for colleges to offer successful adult student programs, the leadership of the university must be committed to the task. College executives should dedicate resources to adult recruitment and ensure that superior academic and administrative services are in place to retain adult students. Ask these questions about any school you are considering enrolling in.

Does The School Offer Services Just for Adults?

Adult and evening programs need to have adequate staffing to ensure that adults are able to find answers to their questions and help when they need it. Successful adult programs have found that having a dedicated individual to help adults has been extremely helpful. This person serves as a single point of contact for adult learners. Called an adult learner concierge, this person helps returning adult students navigate the application, enrollment, and registration process, including assistance with students' prior learning assessment. Colleges that have successful adult programs also keep their administrative and academic offices open after 5 p.m. For any adult student who works during the day and needs help with academic advising, financial aid, or admissions information, a 5 p.m. closing is unworkable.

Does The School Offer Adult-Friendly Degrees?

Most adult students want practical professional degrees that will help them find and keep a job in today's market. There is nothing wrong with offering a sports management degree or a professional studies degree alongside degrees in philosophy or humanities. However, many liberal arts colleges don't offer degrees that meet the needs of a non-traditional student. If there is a lack of commitment to career-oriented degrees, like nursing or marketing, it could be a sign that school is not interested in educating adults.

Does The School Provide Credit for Life Experiences?

For an adult student who earned college credit 10 or 20 years ago, worked a couple of different jobs, received a certificate, and studied a language, providing opportunities to earn college credit for these experiences can save a student both time and money. At adult-friendly colleges, that student could earn up to 45 credits in experiential learning gained from prior employment, community service, and other pursuits. Standardized tests and portfolio programs are two ways that colleges provide credit for life experience. If a school offers neither, you might want to keep looking.

Adult students deserve equal treatment from college and universities. Look for schools that seem eager to enroll and serve adult students, before choosing a particular course of study.

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