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This paper discusses the characteristics of nontraditional student populations, reviews programs of interest, identifies problems and concerns of these students, and provides a model for orientation sessions targeting nontraditional populations. Following a brief introduction, section II discusses the characteristics, retention, and academic performance of nontraditional students, noting that in general they are responsible for themselves and others, view education as one of several competing priorities, see their difference in age and family responsibilities as barriers to attending college, and often perform better academically than traditional students. Section III discusses programs of interest to nontraditional students, including professional retraining, mid-career programs for executives, weekend colleges, and week-long programs for older adults. Section IV addresses the problems and concerns nontraditional students have at college, discussing the attitudes of faculty and other students, admissions procedures which request information and recommendations from high schools, time-consuming registration procedures, child care, finances, and time pressures. Section V presents a model orientation session to focus on the needs of adult learners, reviewing planning procedures, setting an agenda for the session, and evaluating the orientation. Finally, section VI provides concluding remarks highlighting the importance of recognizing and responding to the needs of nontraditional students. (Contains 24 references.) (BCY)

Descriptors: Admissions Counseling, Community Colleges, Models, Nontraditional Education, Nontraditional Students, Program Descriptions, Retraining, School Holding Power, School Orientation, Student Adjustment, Student Characteristics, Student Recruitment, Student School Relationship, Two Year Colleges, Universities

Autor: Hazzard, Terry


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