Seven Barriers That Keep People from Returning to School
For most people, returning to college after years of accomplishment in the workplace or staying at home is coupled with fear -- fear of the competition and the ability to adjust to the demands of higher education. Yet the desire for advancement or the baggage of an unfinished degree beg you to consider the possibility.
But you wonder what it would be like being back in the classroom with students who might be half your age. Then you hear about an adult program -- the Division of Continuing Studies ACCESS Program at La Sierra University -- and you think to yourself . . . maybe.
We find that there are seven common barriers to returning to college as an adult student -- seven barriers, seven challenges, seven opportunities.
- It takes too long to complete a degree . . . You may be closer to completing your degree than you realize. The Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) accepts most college academic credit. Credit can also be earned for academic courses taken while in the military or by passing exams such as CLEP, DANTES, or by LSU departmental equivalency exams.
- College costs too much . . . Like other things of great value, a college education is expensive. However, many employers help pay tuition; ask yours. Grants and loans are available to adult students who meet standard eligibility requirements. Because La Sierra University believes in educating adult students, DCS students enjoy a unique tuition rate, which puts a college education within reach for many adult students. Your expenses will consist of tuition, books, and a few modest fees. Finally, remember that your earning capacity will grow following graduation and remain higher for the rest of your life!
- I don't know how I will fit in . . . By enrolling through the Division of Continuing Studies' ACCESS program, you will take most of your classes with other students who are also over the age of 22, have jobs and families, and whose lives are busy much like your own. Our teachers enjoy adult students because they bring a strong sense of determination and direction with them. The faculty especially enjoy having you share your experiences with other students in the classroom.
- I'm too old . . . Not if you are younger than Edna Williams who graduated from the ACCESS program at the age of 85! The average age of our students is about 39. In fact, most of our students do better now than when they were previously in college.
- But I've got a full-time job . . . Congratulations! Other students in class also have a busy schedule, but we find that returning to school actually invigorates many students, which makes it easier to work and go to school than imagined. Our classes are in the evening, usually starting at 6:30 p.m., to accommodate your daytime responsibilities.
- I'm afraid . . . You're not alone. Most adults who return to the classroom have feelings of apprehension. You were afraid the day you started school, the day you took your first driving test, the day you reported to your first job, and you succeeded in all of those things. The Division of Continuing Studies was established for the specific purpose of aiding adult students in the transition back into the classroom. We are friendly! We have developed procedures to spare you nearly all registration hassles.
- I still have a lot of questions . . . Give us a call, or better yet make an appointment and talk with one of our staff members. Call us at 951-785-2300 or toll free at 800-874-5587, ext. 2300.
(These concepts were adapted from a publication of The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.)