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New Programs Designed for Non-Traditional Students

The increase of non-traditional students enrolling in higher education institutions across the United States is encouraging post-secondary institutions to develop suitable programs that help adult learners overcome their particular obstacles. In turn, non-traditional students are responding positively to the programs developed specifically to meet their needs, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The increase of adult-centric programs introduced at different colleges show that a number of institutions are recognizing the challenges faced by non-traditional students, such as high tuition cost, balancing careers and families and lack of college preparedness.

One program called, Gateway, was launched by Chatham University and offers credits to students that can demonstrate previous work and volunteer experience. Students in the Gateway program are required to construct a portfolio of their previous experience for faculty to assess and determine if credit is warranted.

In addition to Chatham University’s program, Robert Morris University also developed a program with a focus on non-traditional students. The program, “The Veterans Education and Training Services program,” is filling a need to better-serve military veterans in higher education. The program gives grants and tuition reimbursements for those who have served in the military and goes a step beyond this by providing them a lounge area on campus as well as free tutoring.

“Most of the military veterans are older than traditional students … and many have families,” Dan Rota, program director at Robert Morris University, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We built our program based on the needs of current veterans.”