In addition to what all students need, what does Doug (returning adult student, lost job, needs to re-train, not excited about the need to return to school) need?

Phase 1

*Career Services/Counseling (to include resume workshops, etc) /help finding a new major
*Encouragement during advising process
*Financial Aid/Loans
*Training tools
*Information on how past credits will apply to degree
*May need additional information beyond orientation if extremely computer illiterate
*Knowledge that college is much broader than traditional students anymore—he will not be the oldest person!
*He may need a counselor that will walk him through the steps of applying, financial aid, registration, choosing a major. He needs an advocate to encourage him to get started and keep going.
*Computer and software requirements for DE classes
*Difference between online and on-ground courses
*Possibility of co-op or job training programs that might line students up for jobs upon completion of the program.
*Connection to advising (Worker Retaining type program if college has it) to assess current academic level and build appropriate academic plan.
*Depending on whether Doug is "a local" or completely online learner, the availability of support/retraining resources at the county and state level (of which he's a resident) are important, particularly the degree to which they may complement/supplement those available through the institution.
*Needs mentoring from someone going through or who's been through the same situation. (JD)

Phase 2
*Involvement of faculty; student services might contact faculty and brief them on his situation. Sometimes faculty might be able to address factors of motivation and identification of alternative options at ground level, in the classroom. This seems to be one of those scenarios in which activating a series of team members might yield creative ways to address his concerns.
*Information about the different activities the college has to offer to help him find something to be excited about being here
*Continued Support from office/professor
*Identification of resources for similar students (Non trad programs, online groups, in person groups)
*Campus/off campus employment opportunities/opportunities to get back into the workforce
*Introduction to specific services that may ease his transition—tutoring, using the library, declaring a major, etc.
*Information on student discounts
*Information about student life
*Development of personal motivation, self-dicipline and self-confidence skills
*Tips for online courses, including building reading and study skills
*Access to Counseling Services somehow

Phase 3

  • Involvement with other students; academic advising
  • Periodic check-in from student services or an online community, intended both to keep morale up and to serve as an early-warning system.
  • Information on college activities/events

*Social networking opportunities
*Academic and college social calendar (important deadlines and happenings, etc.)
*Information on courses of interest for the next semester (to encourage him to return)
*Connections to program clubs, online networking options
*Deadlines/dates for progress reports (mid term grades, satisfactory academic progress)

Phase 4
*Labour market information; career laddering information; online degree auditing
*Optional social networking mentoring from student services
*Resume repair and mock interview skills
*When and where are job fairs
*Mentor to help with transition from employed to unemployment
*Goal reassessment
*Information about writing center- help him with resume, tips on how to succeed

How does this contribute to success?

  • Finding career goals that match with interests, strengths, etc. to provide motivation/purpose; Placement testing to determine a starting point to minimize frustration and giving up; counseling and support following job loss to process issues associated with this loss
  • Multiple parties may appeal to student in different ways. Traditional student services personnel may help ease him into the institution, faculty might help out while in the classroom, and career counselors may help out upon completion.
  • Encourages student to persist because they may see the possibilities of where they're going with education; lessen sense of being along - others have similar experiences
  • Just a little directed attention might keep this student from regretting or trivializing his return to the classroom. A check-in here and there, and a little boost into the sort of networking that might expand job opportunities, should increase the sense of participation and purpose to the re-training.

Who is responsible?

  • Career counselor; testing center; counseling services; Registration (online degree auditing)
  • Student services
  • Faculty as well; they are the line of interaction during the academic learning process.
  • Career services; student; Instructor

Best delivery?

  • Career counselling through interactive on-line assessment and links to a variety of web sites that contain interviews/vignettes of individuals in various relevant careers; testing on-line; perhaps counselling via real-time audio/video link (i.e. Skype) and online community connecting others who have lost employment
  • WIKI; telephone-E-mail with instructor
  • For check-ins from student services and career counseling, best delivery would be at the student's option: email, FB, Twitter, text, etc.
  • For career counseling check-in or boostering into social networking, perhaps a synchronous tool like Elluminate Live or Skype would work as well.
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