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University of Akron Students Give a Look at the Nontraditional Student Experience

Nontraditional students have a lot to gain by receiving a post-secondary degree or credential. As we all know, however, those same students face a number of unique challenges as they pursue their academic goals—challenges that, if unmet, could slow or even halt their progress entirely.

Now, from the Akron Beacon, come stories from nontraditional students at the University of Akron (UA) about the realities they’ve faced balancing job and family responsibilities and an academic career. The students’ stories are diverse as they are, highlighting the wide range of situations that can arise in life that can delay getting a degree. As one student summarizes, “life happen[s].”

With 2,772 nontraditional students this academic year out of a total population of 17,347 at UA, UA president Matthew Wilson’s goal to make educational more accessible for those 25 and older who are returning to college is sure to be appreciated.   

“We are investing in programs that are demanded by employers and students and brokering those two sources to come up with the right academic programming for flexible learning opportunities,” dean of UA’s Wayne County campus Jarrod Tudor told the Beacon. “Our motto is to make the evening look like the day, whether it’s advising, admissions, transfers, military, etc.”

While there’s no shortage of data that strengthens the belief that nontraditional students deserve our support, it’s every bit as important that we listen to the personal stories of those we support as well. Data without the human element will only ever tell part of a greater story.

To read the full article on the Akron Beacon, click here.


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