Challenges, Opportunities For Returning Adult Students

Student Kas Racine sits working on her art assignment in Whitehorse Hall. She graduated high school and college in the 70’s and now enjoys classes for enrichment.

Emily Lint

Student Kas Racine sits working on her art assignment in Whitehorse Hall. She graduated high school and college in the 70’s and now enjoys classes for enrichment.

Rebecca Boehm, Staff Writer

College students are an average of 18-24 years old, but people of all ages attend EvCC. With online and evening classes, many adults are taking the opportunity to go back to school. There are many reasons for coming back to college at a later age, often to further one’s career, or start a completely new one. A few years and a handful of life experiences can make the end goal of college much more clear.

For students returning to college a second or sometimes third time, many things have changed over the years. Engineering major Toby Petty explains what a more prominent role technology plays now. Where we have robots in place now, they were using drafting tables and rulers his first time through college. Having to keep up with new technology can be an added difficulty for returning students competing with students fresh out of high school. Instead of remembering what they learned months ago, second round students often must relearn skills and concepts forgotten years ago, adding refresher courses on top of required courses.

Overwhelmingly, one of the most common struggles across the board for students returning to college later in life is how to balance work and family with school. Parents need to work to support their families, work to pay for school, spend time investing in their children and somehow get through school. Josh Bingham, a parent, full time employee, and EvCC student has only slept 6 hours in the last 48 hours. He admits that during high school (before his military career) he used procrastinate. Now he says, “I can’t afford to be a procrastinator.”

Adults returning to college after having a career or a family certainly have their work cut out for them. It can be a huge risk, and a lot to take on. Pressure to support their families, compete with a younger crowd, and start a whole new career can be intimidating. Despite the challenges, there can be advantages. There are special programs that help adults afford going back to school. These students almost always possess more determination after knowing what the real world is like. At age 18 or 19, it’s hard to know exactly what one wants to major in or what career to pursue. Generally, students coming back to college only do so if they have a specific career goal in mind

Student Kas Racine sits working on her art assignment in Whitehorse Hall. She graduated high school and college in the 70’s and now enjoys classes for enrichment.