Saturday, December 16, 2017

The older non-traditional student

When I was a freshman at Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana (now university), I recall there were two “older” women students; one was in her early 40s and actually in my classes, don’t know the age of the other, a little younger, but she had been a missionary and was updating her credentials. I met her years later when I went back to MC to search the archives for some genealogy information and she was the archivist then. Mt. Morris College where my parents and grandparents had attended had merged with MC after its closing in 1932, so their college records were at MC.  Of course, at 18 I thought anyone over 25 was ancient, but it was a novelty then to have women the age of our mothers in our classes.

I thought that when I retired I would take advantage of all the programs for older and non-traditional students available at Ohio State University, which is virtually next door.  But that also meant driving there, parking, bad weather, etc., and I never did sign up.  I took two evening classes at the local high school, one in accounting and one in Spanish.  I didn’t do well, and although all of us were college grads just updating skills, I was one of the oldest.   For a librarian, being able to search the internet and have information at my finger tips, is like heaven, even though I still prefer print on paper. I don't enjoy the classroom or deadlines anymore, so over the years, the internet with YouTube, on-line news, and access to journals through Ohio State has been my teacher and class mates.  Stressors of college, comparing traditional and non-traditional students

"Significant differences were found between the nontraditional and traditional students for events in the following categories: academics, peer and social relations, family and network, autonomy and responsibility, and intimacy. Nontraditional students enjoyed going to classes and doing homework more, whereas traditional students worried more about school performance. Peer events, including social activities, had much more impact on traditional students, whereas nontraditional students reported much more responsibility in the home. The results suggest that there are significant differences between the groups in their perceptions of stressors."

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