Otis Anderson, Sr
Higher Education is Being Redefined by Non-Traditional Students
Adult education is changing to meet student demands by offering flexible schedules, expansion of online degrees, increased financial opportunities, and more.
Adults seeking to improve their level of education are influencing a revolution in the manner in which continuing education opportunities are delivered. These adults are referred to as “non-traditional” college students, because they did not follow the path to college directly from high school. On the other hand, college students who followed the direct path from high school to college are referred to as “traditional” students.
Non-traditional students are changing the delivery methods of continuing education to a meet their needs and not the traditional needs of colleges and universities. Why is this occurring? The non-traditional student is typically employed full time, has a family, a stay-at-home parent, veteran, or active duty military. They typically attend college on a part-time basis, with many enrolled as full-time students.
The life commitment demands of these adult learners has caused an ongoing shift in the method of delivery of certification programs, degree programs, and specialized programs. According to experts in custom dissertation writing services, non-traditional students have caused colleges and universities to offer entire programs and courses for delivery via distance education. Often referred to as online education or distance learning, this change of continuing education delivery method is designed to meet the life commitment demands of non-traditional students.
Changing Face of Higher Education StudentsThe major influence for the ongoing shift in delivery methods from traditional classroom settings to distance education is due to the every growing number of non-traditional students.
There are approximately 10 million adult students today; this number is expected to increase to 12 million by 2026 (National Center for Educational Statistics, Digest of Educational Statistics, 2020).
This ever growing number of adult students is proving to be a powerful force, especially since the number of traditional students is not expected to grow nearly as fast, only by 500 thousand through 2026 (National Center for Educational Statistics, Digest of Educational Statistics, 2020).
Redefining Continuing EducationTo meet the life commitment demands of non-traditional students, colleges and universities are redefining the way they deliver their courses and programs. By shifting to courses and programs for delivery via distance education, this meets adult student demands by:
Offering Flexible Schedules – colleges and universities are offering adult students flexible schedules. They offer evening and weekend, online classes, for writing a custom term paper.
On-demand courses have open enrollment and students can begin the course anytime of the year. These options offer adults a chance to who need or want to complete continuing education the ability to fit their studies around family and work commitments.
Part-Time Options – greater opportunities for part-time enrollment are offered to adults. The days of full-time enrollment in continuing education programs are waning, because of the opportunities offered by distance education.
Higher education schools realize that the life commitments of non-traditional students make it difficult to enroll in a full time program and achieve success.
Expansion of Online Degrees – schools are shifting more courses and programs online. They understand that adult students want to and can attend courses anywhere they have a computer and access to the internet.
Distance education courses satisfy the demand for flexibility in no set class times and not needing to commute to traditional classroom settings to attend courses.
Increased Financial Opportunities – schools are starting to shift their method of financial aid distribution to account for the every growing population of non-traditional students. These students need financial assistance just as much as traditional students need aid.
However, adult students must not rely strictly on higher education schools to support them and need to seek all financial assistance options. Reported by editors from paper writing service.
Offering More Diversity in Education – diversity comes in many forms other than the traditional acceptance of race and socio-economic foundation. Diversity also comes in form of non-traditional students who come from all walks of life. Their perspectives offer a more global view of life, experience, work, and self-determination to succeed.
Students no longer only interact with others their age and life experience, i.e., traditional students. Distance education courses often have students enrolled who are anywhere from 18 to 80, maybe even older.