Adults Need Not Fear Returning to College

Published on Monday, June 10th, 2013

Of 17.6 million American undergraduates, 38% of those enrolled in college are older than 25, and 25% are older than 30, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and those percentages are expected to continue to increase by 2019. Depending upon the evolving definition of “non-traditional student,” the percentage could be as high as 73%.

Many adults focus on the obstacles they see between them and a bachelor’s degree: schedules packed with work and family obligations, finances, the yawning gap since they last picked up a book or took a test. They do not realize that adult courses are tailored to their strengths, that their work experience will help them succeed in class, that classwork will help them succeed in the office, and whether employed or not, they will serve as a role model for others.

Charise Wilson is a typical adult non-traditional student. A career services and workforce development director for more than 11 years, she reached a plateau she could not cross without a bachelor’s degree. With some college credits, and a wealth of professional experience, she enrolled in the bachelor’s degree in business administration program at the Center for Accelerated & Professional Studies at Becker College and is successfully juggling one course a week, family, and full-time work, like many other adult students.

Charise is sharing her story and her career services expertise in her current role as an admissions counselor and community liaison for the Accelerated Center at Becker and at “Free in June,” an event aimed at demystifying the adult student experience and offering career and interviewing tips, to be held Wednesday, June 12, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 15, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Becker College. Charise is also offering free career consultation appointments in the coming weeks.