Deciding to Enter or Return to College
Adult learners have a different approach to learning. Adults are most likely responsible for their own success and are capable of making decisions once they have the information they need. Most adult learners are women, aged 25-69. Adults are the fastest growing educational demographic. They may have stopped their college education because of military issues, marriage, starting a family, job and family responsibilities, divorce. They seek re-careering options, personal enrichment and job credibility, to be a role model, and make more money. Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in adult learning, observed that adults learn best when they know why something is important. Below is a list of resources that may help you on your journey of continuing education.
- Read this first!
- Back2College.com (Highly Recommended) - This site includes lots of advertisements, but features links to many other useful sites on topics such as college admissions, and financial aid, distance education and career planning.
- Facing Your Fears As An Adult Learner Returning to School
- EduPoint - Searchable databases of courses and degrees and certificate programs that EduPoint has determined are oriented toward working adults. Also includes information on topics such as financial aid and distance learning.
- ACT Assessment - Information and registration for the ACT Assessment which some colleges require. Depending on your age, you may not have to take the exam.
- SAT I and SAT II - Information and registration for the SAT I and SAT II, which many colleges require. Depending on your age, you may not have to take the SAT exam.
- Comparing Offers from Different Schools. Tips for making award letter comparisons a snap.
- Mapping Your Future
- College Career Life Planning
- Life Experience Credit - Binghamton University's Human Development majors within the College of Community and Public Affairs, may receive up to 8 credits for academically oriented life experience.
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) - College-Level Examination® (CLEP) gives you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know by earning qualifying scores on any of 33 examinations. Earn credit for knowledge you've acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits, or internships. Depending on your college's CLEP policy, a satisfactory score on a CLEP exam can earn your from 3 to 12 college credits. The cost of a CLEP exam is $77. Read Binghamton University's CLEP policy here.
- DANTES Exams: A wide range of examination programs to assist military personnel in earning college credit for what they already know. Accepted at almost 1,000 academic institutions across the U.S. Exams are open to non-military personnel.
- College Credit Recommendations Service - This program evaluates and recommends college credit for coursed and examinations administered through business, labor, governments, associations and other organizations.
- American Council on Education's Military Programs - Provides service with step-by-step instructions on how to find out about college credit for experiences in the military.
- Thomas Edison State College Examination Program - Motivated and independent learners select tests in a subject area they have prior knowledge or experience in. Test prep is available for advanced level or lower level exams in 50 subjects.
- Learning Counts - College credit for what you already know.
- Adult Students Online companion to Siebert's and Karr's Book, The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success, 6th edition.
- Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education
- Back to College
- American Association of Community Colleges Plus 50 Initiative Ageless Learning resources.
- Seven Facts You Must Know Before Going Back to School
- Re-Careering at Any Age
- The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success, 6th Edition by Al Siebert, Ph.D and Mary Karr, M. S.
- New Beginnings: A guide for Adult Learners and Returning Students by Linda Simon.
- Newer Too Late to Learn: An Adult Student's Guide to College by Vicky Phillips.
- How to Earn a College Degree When You Think You are Too Old, Too Busy, Too Broke and Too Scared by E. Faith Ivery, Ed.D.
- Binghamton University Veterans Service Office (TRIO Program)
- The GI Bill Educational Assistance Program. The Montgomery GI Bill and the Veterans Educational Assistance Program.
Tips for Succeeding
- Don't be intimidated by your professors. E-mail them and contact them in a way they tell you to. They really are there to assist you.
- This University offers tutoring, counseling, academic advising and career advisement. Use these services. You know how much each of those services cost in the real world - here they are part of the package.
- Introduce yourself to the staff at the libraries. They have all sorts of information on everything! The Bartle Library Information desk is now my to-to place for anything I might be wondering.
- If you have a break between classes, find the Commuter Lounge and the Memorial Courtyard. They are great places to relax for a few minutes.
- Say hello to other Non-Traditional students. It can be intimidating sitting in a classroom where you are the only or one of a few adult students.
- Check out the B-Line, it isn't just for campus residents. There are a lot of events and lectures that allow you to network with the faculty.
- Stop lugging your laptop around! Check out the PODS or borrow a laptop from the library. I carry a thumbdrive or USB.
- Be proud of yourself! It is really difficult to go back to school, and you are balancing school, work or family as well as your day to day life. Give yourself a pat on the back!
- See the Non-Traditional Student Blog.
Attitude is everything! We are here because we want to learn new information and skills, to become better equipped for life. Success is often a choice we make. Make your education count. Decide you will be open to learning; open to new ideas; open to fully engaging with the information, professor, and students. When here, as well as required classes and topics of interest, select one or two classes in subjects you know nothing about. Get outside of your comfort zone in learning. Choose to have a positive attitude. It really is your decision in whether you have a positive or negative experience. We have a tremendous opportunity that very few people get, just by being Binghamton University students. We are investing money and time, so make it count. Gain everything you can gain while you are here.
Take time to rest and play. If all you do is read and create papers, life is passing
you by, and you will quickly crash and burn. Life has to contain moments of fun, enjoyment
and love also. Obviously the week before the major project is due is not the time
to go on vacation - unless your project is completed and you are celebrating. But
working every day 10-12 hours a day is also not good. Take a break now and then from
studying. Get up, stretch, move around. Get enough sleep. Try to take one day a week
to not do schoolwork or employment duties. Take time to enjoy life!