Historically students over the age of 25 have been characterized as “non-traditional”. Today more than 47% of college students fall under this non-traditional classification in U.S. higher education. However, non-traditional students or adult learners might be better defined as students who often exhibit one or more of the following seven characteristics:
- Have delayed enrollment into post-secondary education
- Attend part-time
- Are financially independent of parents
- Work full-time while enrolled
- Have dependents other than a spouse
- Are a single parent
- Lack a standard high school diploma
By using these criteria, the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that over 60 percent of students in higher education could be classified as non-traditional.
Enrollment of adult learners has grown in both absolute numbers and in proportion to total enrollment. With this increase, the college recognizes the need for a pro-active approach to meeting the non-traditional student’s individualistic and special needs. The unique circumstances of the non-traditional student requires that the college offer special support services in order for these students to achieve academic success and to enhance the students’ capacities to become self-directed, lifelong learners.
Students needing assistance should contact the advisor for non-traditional students, Miwa Edwards, by calling or emailing at (304)367-4208 or Miwa.Edwards@pierpoint.edu.