No matter how old or young one is; it is never too late to start working toward an educational goal in becoming a college graduate! Remember the dream within us sits waiting to spread forth and become a reality. It is only the lack of belief in ourselves that stops us from achieving those things with the heart, and it is only through our own understanding, ability and perseverance that we see them become realities. Until then, they are little more than visions in a crystal ball, with no chance of development.
Some would-be students believe it is too difficult to pursue a college degree, believing they are not smart enough or personally powerful enough to see a degree through. And, no doubt, it is no walk in the park, but is and will be the most personally fulfilling and rewarding experience and personal achievement that life will bring, second only to a beautiful, long lasting marriage or having children to share ones life with.Order now
The first step in achieving ones college goal, is believing in yourself and making a commitment to yourself and education that no matter what the next few years bring in personal circumstance or situation that ones priority is achieving their college dream, and nothing will stand in ones way in achieving them. It is only the student with this most positive and certain attitude that will succeed. Otherwise, difficult circumstances and situations are sure to arise, and without this attitude, students are sure to follow a voice within them that says, “It’s too difficult, why not just quit! And that will be the end of that.
But with a positive and certain goal the voice within will remind the student of the dream, the band playing pomp and circumstance and the diploma in hand. And the struggle will seem well worth it. According to the National Center for Education Statistics NCES, by 2010, 16 million people will be enrolled in American colleges and universities â€“ over half of them adults. Not Your Average College Freshman Why return to school? Some people want to finish a degree begun earlier in life but interrupted by career decisions or family responsibilities.
Others decide to begin a graduate or post-graduate program after a long hiatus away from school. And among adult workers, and emphasis on continuous learning as a way to keep one’s competitive edge in the work world is inspiring many to hit the books again. New Demands â€“ and New Prospects Going back to school can be exciting turning point â€“ as well as cause for trepidation. Having been away from school for a long time, or never having been a college student before, many older students are unsure of what to expect and how to get the most out of their degree program.
Luckily, today’s students have a wide array of program options â€“ including virtual universities, distance learning, self-paced study, and corporate education and training programs. Some programs mix classroom and independent study, while others let one attend classes on weekends. Yet other schools let one earn “life-experience” credits. Tips and Tools for Returning to School With so many choices, how should one choose a program? And how might one cope with the demands of course work? Here are some helpful tips: Shop around for the degree program that best suits ones schedule and ones learning style.
Once a potential program is found, don’t be afraid to ask the school lots of questions! Study skills rusty Ask the office of continuing education at ones school to recommend on-campus study-skills seminars. Many colleges offer study advice. Establish a firm schedule for studying â€“ and stuck to it. But take breaks, too. Join a discussion or study group with other adult students in the program. Better yet, start one yourself â€“ you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn about teamwork and leadership! Learn how to use the Internetâ€”it’s an essential research tool for all college students today.
In 1996, there were nearly 1. 500 two-year colleges in the United States, with total enrollment of approximately 5. 5 million full-and part-time students. This enrollment accounted for about 45 percent of the nation’s undergraduates â€“ up from 31 percent in 1970. More than 60 percent of the students attending two-year colleges were enrolled part-time, as compared with 30 percent of students attending four-year universities. Community college students tend to be older than the typical college student. The average age is 32.
While 61 percent of the four-year college population is less than 25 years old, only 50 percent of the two-year college population is. One-in-Four College Student Will be Older Age 35+ By 2001 1993, 44 percent of students were over 25, and 2 out of 3 were women. 1970, 27. 8 percent of students were over 25 years of age. 1980, 37. 8 percent of students were over 25 years of age. If current trends continue, adults will outnumber traditional 17-23 aged students by the end of the next decade. More adults are trading thrills of life for a higher education.
Preparing to Return Preparation is perhaps the most important factor separating successful students, at any age. Some of the steps that one might follow include: Earn A High School Diploma If you have never finished high school â€“ for whatever reason â€“ you can still earn a high school credential by either taking the GED Tests or enrolling in an alternative high school program. A high school diploma, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for entering most degree programs. Call The National Institute for Literacy hotline for a GED or other adult education program near you at 1-800-228-8813.
Nine out of ten colleges accept a GED diploma as equivalent to a traditional high school diploma. GED scores will provide registrars and admissions officers with a better idea with strengths and weaknesses. Brush Up on Study Skills Like many adults who start college after being out of school for a while, some subjects may feel a little “rusty. ” Many schools typically have programs to help enhance those skills to optimize ones chances for success. More than 75 percent of colleges and universities offer programs to help brush up ones studying skills.
Don’t worry â€“ you won’t be alone; 46 percent of students in these types of classes are over the age of 22. Depending on ones comfort level, courses can be taken on campus or through distance education. Check with the local community college to see what types of courses are offered. Ask Questions Before Filling an Application Contact the admissions office at the colleges that are of interest to ones goals before beginning the formal admissions process to ask any questions about academic skill levels, family or career concerns, or any other questions that are of concern.
It’s a good idea to make an appointment to find out exactly what will be expected in order to gain admission. Choosing the Right Program For most adult learners, choosing the right program means finding a good fit between an academic experience and the kind of skills, knowledge, and credential that will help them meet their career goals. Once the career goals have been established, determine what type of educational experience will help achieve those objectives. Do you need a few courses, a professional credential, an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree?
Learning from a Distance Distance education and online courses now enable many adults to earn degrees at home or through their workplace. Distance learning enables one to learn in a variety of flexible formats such as videoconferencing, television-assisted courses, and online programs delivered over the Internet. If you own a computer or have access to one, there are thousands of programs available, ranging form degree programs that are delivered entirely online to programs that integrate online learning into traditional courses. Whatever is chosen, make sure that the program has received the approval of a recognized accreditation agency.
Learning Styles Most studies show that adults can learn just as efficiently online as in a lecture hall, but researchers also agree that participants in distance education programs need to be self-motivated. Make sure when choosing this type of learning style, one must be comfortable with both the technology involved and the ability to keep on track with completion of course requirements. Tips for a Successful Online Experience 1. Keep open minded about sharing life, work, and education experiences as part of the learning process. 2. Communicate through ones writing. 3. Be self-motivated and self-disciplined. . Willing to speak up if problems arise. 5. Are willing and able to commit 4 to 15 hours per week per course. 6. Can meet the minimum requirements for the program, whether traditional or online. 7. Can accept critical thinking and decision-making as part of the learning process. 8. Have access to a computer and modem. 9. Are able to think ideas through before responding. 10. Believe that high quality learning can take place without going to traditional classrooms. Myths and Realities about Going to College as an Adult Myth: College is for young people. Adults don’t fit in.
Reality: Today, College is for everyone. Almost 6 million people are 25 years of age or older which is forty percent of all American college students. Further, the U. S. Department of Education estimates that 90 million individuals participate in some form of adult education each year, including training and basic education offered outside traditional higher education. Myth: Going to school part-time, you’ll never complete a degree. Reality: One of the ways that institutions have accommodated adult learners is by devising alternate schedules that allow students to complete more classes in the same amount of time.