|Below you will find helpful
tips for Nontrad returning students as well as links to online
So, Iím a student again after all
these years: Many adult students initially feel unsure
of their academic abilities or are not familiar with various academic
options and campus services that are available. The following describes
various campus resources and suggestions that may be helpful:
- Have confidence in your abilities. Studies have sown that
learning ability does not decline with age. In fact, verbal ability
- Take a light load the first term. You may need time to adjust to
your new routine and the demands of coursework.
- Try to balance your course load. Balancing your course load
means avoiding taking too many demanding courses in any one
semester; it also means spreading your courses out so that you are
not taking all night classes, or all MWF classes, or all TTh
- Consult your academic advisor if you have questions about the
requirements for your major or a particular class.
- Audit a class if the subject is unfamiliar or particularly
difficult for you. Auditing a class before you take it for credit
allows you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the
information and facilitate future learning.
- Develop peer support. At the beginning of the term, get the
phone numbers of one or two classmates. You can help each other with
difficult concepts. Also, if you miss a class you will want to know
what was covered and what assignments were made.
- Learn to use the Blackboard system and other new technologies.
Some professors will post important announcements and notes on the
Blackboard system. It will also assist you in managing your grades
and assignments. Learning other new technologies, such as word
processing, computerized searches, and e-mail, will prove valuable
in later employment.
- Remain current in your reading and assignments. Professors
expect you to check the syllabus for information and may not make
announcements in class.
- Seek help when you need it. If classes are not going well, meet
with your professor during their office hours or visit a campus lab
for extra assistance.
Visit your professors during their office hours to get acquainted
and to get further assistance with the course material. Professors
set aside time for students for clarification or questions, and will
usually make appointments if their office hours are inconvenient for
- Become familiar with the library system. Knowing how to use the
library can save time and reduce anxiety.
- Establish good study habits. Establish a set time and place for
I a Non-traditional Student? Adult students, often referred to as
ďnon-traditionalĒ students, are not clearly defined by Saint Martin's.
The leadership of the Non-traditional student club has submitted a working
definition to the college; one that is inclusive to as many
variations as possible.
can credits I have previously earned be applied to my current coursework?
Your admissions counselor and student advisor will be able to help you determine where and how previous
coursework will be applied to your current situation. There are many ways
to earn credit.
canít compete with all those 18 year olds fresh out of high school!
This is a common, but unfounded, fear. Our statistics prove that adult
students commonly earn better grades in classes than traditional students.
However, for those whose skills are a little rusty, Saint Martin's has numerous help
facilities that provide tutoring
instruction. Academic Advisors can help you locate and make
arrangements with these services.
wonít understand that I have other responsibilities as well.
This is simply not true. Adult students are openly welcomed in the
classroom by all instructors because of their unique perspectives, maturity, and
firm resolve to do well. Establishing good communication with instructors
early in the semester is a key factor in avoiding any problems. Advisors and the
Center Services are beneficial resources when issues or questions
related to communicating within the college setting come up.
simply canít afford school. You might be surprised how easy it is to
and financial aid, if you start your search early. Sometimes
your employer will be willing to help you financially. If not, you can
test the waters by applying for government grants and loans. Scholarships
are also numerous, but you must keep your eyes open for opportunities.
February and March are the best times to be on the lookout.
I be on social security before I finish a degree? Maybe it will
take a long time, but this is a bad excuse not to make a start. Earning
college credit can help you advance and earn more in your current career,
whether you earn a degree or not. College classes will help you grow
as a person and give you a sense of accomplishment that you may be missing in
your private or work life.
Getting Ready for Success!
Now that you've decided to
continue your formal education, how can you make college a success while
still meeting work and family obligations? Check out these expert tips
to help you during that all-important first term:
1. CONGRATULATIONS on your decision - Don't panic! Just RELAX!!
While it may be
unsettling to step into a classroom environment you haven't been in
for some time, remember the experience you're bringing to the table.
2. Plan your timeframe, be
flexible, be accountable.
Make an appointment with
an education counselor who knows the requirements of your academic
program. Map a plan to complete the program within your desired
timeframe. Don't forget that flexibility is inherent in the academic
plan. If you feel the workload isn't flowing well, then there's room
for change. Balance and flexibility are keys to success.
3. Invest in a
quality organizer/day planner.
Annotate all of your exam
and project dates. Be sure to write down reminders of when your
projects are due, so they don't sneak up on you. Also, be sure to
start a list of the phone numbers of fellow students. It will come
in handy when you're working on group projects and need to call each
4. Schedule your
study time, use it, and guard it!
Do yourself a favor and
schedule uninterrupted study time several days a week. You'll need
this time to do research, write papers, and work on projects.
Dedicated study time will allow you to complete your assignments
faster, and in a quality manner by allowing you to focus on the goal
5. Form study
Study groups are great
tools to use for brainstorming, tutoring, and collaborating. Get in
the habit of getting together before exams or when other projects
are due. Throw around ideas and use the synergy to your advantage.
Help someone out who may not be grasping the material. Chances are
you'll retain the information better after thoroughly explaining it
to someone else.
While certain situations
arise that need to be dealt with, be sure to stick to your study
program as closely as humanly possible. With your time being divided
by family, work, school, and community events, it's critical to stay
on track lest you run out of time.
8. Own a laptop
or a personal computer
While many students get
by with desktop computers at home, laptops make working on papers
anywhere a breeze. With laptops you're not chained to your desk at
home. If you get sent away on business by the boss, you can take the
laptop with you and not miss a step.
9. Plan and cook
ahead of time.
You may be running from
work to class and not have time to cook a nice dinner. Plan your
meals ahead of time, cook them, and package them in containers you
can throw in a microwave before class. This will save you from
having to eat fast-food every night before class. (It'll also save
you many unnecessary pounds!)
Be sure to take personal
time. Remember to take care of yourself and schedule gym time, salon
time, reading time - whatever time it takes for you to feel
rejuvenated. Life is a journey, not a destination