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Non-Traditional Students

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With today’s changing world and the economy the way it is, it is not uncommon for people of all ages to enter the college setting. In fact, two-thirds of students entering the college setting are classified non-traditional (Brown, 2007). Bill (2003) found that there was an 11% increase of non-traditional student enrollment from 1991-1998 displaying 35% in 91 and 46% in 1998. These numbers have since increased according to Jacobson & Harris (2008) showing that half to 75% of undergraduates consist of the non-traditional student sitting the reasons for reentering the college setting to be economic. What exactly defines a non-traditional student and what services may they need in comparison to the traditional student.

According to Brown (2007), non-traditional students fall into many categories; they are students’ older then 22, students that have been displaced from marriage or job,

Students that want to reenter school due to previous academic failure, or students that want to make a career change. Traditional students are those students that have just graduated high school and are between the ages of 18-22.

What type services does the non-traditional student need in comparison with the traditional student? In a study conducted by Jacobson & Harris (2008) non-traditional students do as well as the traditional student in the area of motivational factors. Their age causes them to take advice from instructor more serious and draw on their previous knowledge, wisdom, and learning experiences. Services that may be more beneficial to the non-traditional student would include activities such as advising, course information activities, and brief interventions. Self-directed activities such as providing information and c...

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