NASPA 2015 Presentation
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NASPA 2015 Presentation
Monday, March 23
Katy Lee Kemp
The Importance of
Current Trends of Non-Traditional Students
• There are over 17.6 million undergraduates enrolled in
American higher education.
– 38% percent of those students are over the age of 25 and
1/4 are over the age of 30.
– The share of all students who are over age 25 is projected
to increase another 23% by 2019. (Hess, 2011).
• A growing population of students with different needs,
learning styles, and barriers that must be addressed by
institutions if these students are to experience a
successful transition and, oftentimes, return to college.
What is a Non-Traditional Student?
• In recent years, this term has expanded to include students who
have at least one of the following characteristics:
– Entry to college delayed by at least one year following high school,
– Having dependents,
– Being a single parent,
– Being employed full time,
– Being an armed forces veteran,
– Being financially independent,
– Attending part time, and,
– Not having a high school diploma (Ross-Gordon, 2011, p. 26).
• The most distinguishing trait of many non-traditional students is
juggling other life roles while attending school. These roles may
include employee, spouse, caregiver, parent, community member,
or any combination of the above.
Issues Non-Traditional Students Face
• “The biggest hurdle that I have faced so far is how to have proper time
management” -Edwina, Junior, Mother of 4
• “My biggest challenge is when I have a full work week plus overtime and I
still have a paper to write. The life responsibilities that come with being a
non-traditional student are sometimes overwhelming and you don’t know
where and when you are going to fit your school work in.” -Julie, Senior,
• “Adult students have to attend classes and achieve the same rigorous
outcomes as "traditional" students who have fewer obligations. It's a
balancing act that requires significant dedication to be
successful. Soliciting support from family, friends, and leaving the laundry
and dishes undone is essential to get through some classes. You have to
make trade-offs and sometimes that means reading at 1 AM or doing
homework in the car while waiting for your daughter's play practice to
end.” -Anne, Graduate student, Administrator
Adults learn differently
from children and
therefore should be
taught differently from
rather than content.
• Levinson- Age/Stage
• Mazlow- Hierarchy
• Astin’s Student Involvement Development
– The more a student is involved, the greater that
students learning and personal development will be.
– “Students who do not become involved in co-
curricular activities will not receive the benefits of an
enhanced and involved learning experience, which has
been shown to have an impact on retention” (Furr &
Case Study: Keuka College’s Accelerated
Studies for Adults Program (ASAP)
• Keuka College Enrollment:
– 931 Traditional, Residential
– 980+ Accelerated Studies for Adults Program
• ASAP Overview:
– Distance Learning (22 locations)
– Accelerated Format, Hybrid/1-night per week, evenings
– 100% Transfer students
• Keuka College Student Service Satisfaction Survey
– Distributed to all active ASAP students. 20% response rate
Case Study Findings
• 55% do not feel acknowledged by Keuka College and another 59% do not feel connected to
• Majority reported being satisfied, but nearly 60% of students reported wishing there were
more special services or programs dedicated to ASAP students
• Over 45% feel that offering more services and programs outside of the classroom would
enrich their experience
• Over 76% expressed desire for professional development workshops
• 61% expressed interest in participating in peer-run tutoring services -50/50
• 85% of participants reported that if Keuka College held special events for its ASAP students,
they would attend.
– 47% willing to attend either at their distance campus location or the home campus
– 52% would attend only if events were held at their distance campus
What Can We Do?
Student Advocate Association
• The University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Texas College of
Osteopathic Medicine has a registered student organization for spouses,
family members, and significant others of students.
– Purpose - support students and students’ families throughout medical school
– Provides- community, events, services, support
– Advantages- networking, support, knowledge
• A spouse’s perspective:
– “SAA has helped me better understand what to expect. When my wife was a
1st and 2nd year student, the 3rd and 4th year students explained a lot of the
examination process, the PE exam, the match process, etc. More than
anything, they helped me understand the stress, pressure, and hectic schedule
she'll be experiencing throughout school.” - Stephen C., Spouse of 4th Year
Student Testimonials about SAA
• Impact of spouse involvement on student academic engagement:
– “He had other spouses to commiserate with and it gave him a better understanding of the
demands as a medical student and a spouse to a medical student. It allowed me to study at
home and/or spend time at the library/school without hearing much complaint from my
husband. He understood how limited my free time was and tried his best to plan his schedule
accordingly so we could spend the free time I had together. He also has been much more
supportive because of the SAA support and resources.” - Megan S. 4th Year Medical Student
• Benefit of support network for your spouse:
– “They had their own “club” that I think really helped keep their spirits up throughout it all”-
• Impact of SAA support network on student:
– “SAA also came through in big ways when Micah was diagnosed with cancer. His diagnosis
came in the midst of board studying, and many SAA members brought over dinners, walked
our dogs and cleaned our house. We would not have made it through this very stressful time
without the support and encouragement of friends we have made through SAA.” - Emily C.,
4th Year Medical Student
• Adapting programs and services to accommodate people in various stages, you
would increase the involvement of students.
• Non-traditional students do not always want to be entertained, but really want
programs geared toward their developmental needs.
• Make good use of campus resources that already exist.
• Keep programs short and concise as many students have little free time.
• It is also most beneficial to keep the programs to little or no cost of the student.
• Convenience is important to non-traditional students so offering programs and
services at times that work for their schedule is likely to get the highest turnout.
• Programs and activities that could be beneficial to the non-traditional student fall
into categories such as career-related, self-improvement, social, family, and
Stories to Share?
Katy Lee Kemp