Non-Traditional Students

National “Non-Traditional Student Week” is the first week in November. We thought this would be a good time to talk about areas that would focus on a few items that are of interest to our non-traditional students.

First, what is a non-traditional student? According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there is no real definition. In general, a student who meets the following criteria is generally considered non-traditional:

  • Delays enrollment (does not enter post-secondary education in the same calendar year that he or she finished high school);
  • Attends part time for at least part of the academic year;
  • Works full time (35 hours or more per week) while enrolled;
  • Is considered financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid;
  • Has dependents other than a spouse (usually children, but sometimes others);
  • Is a single parent (either not married or married but separated and has dependents); or
  • Does not have a high school diploma (completed high school with a GED or other high school completion certificate or did not finish high school).

While this may not be a formal definition, you can see why non-traditional students have some needs that are unique to them. Because of those unique needs, I thought it would be useful to list a few resources that might be useful to you as a non-traditional student. Since most non-traditional students are very busy, time management is a major concern. Get your Time Management skills in order.

One of the areas I always struggled with was test taking. Here are some resources to help you become a better test taker:

In some cases, you might just need some good Study Guides and Strategies.

Another skill you have to acquire is writing. This is useful not only for class work, but when you are looking for a job; it’s a skill employers are looking for!

Finally, a few more important to-dos:

Congratulations on your decision to return to school and the best of luck to you!