In addition to what all students need, what does June (returning adult student, busy professional/career changer, all courses online, can only come to campus for exams) need?

Phase 1

  • Majors and Minors Programs would offer students information about the various majors and minors offered on campus. Department Chairs could describe course requirements as well as helpful skills and interests. Career opportunities, internships and post degree programs would be presented. A reference guide website can be downloaded. http://www.marist.edu/careerservices/pdfs/majmin0910.pdf
  • Perhaps information about Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). Many career changers have vast experience/skills that may be transferable

*Perhaps an available streamlined enrollment process for those who may be technology savvy. This demographic might represent someone who is expanding her academic portfolio, and who is under severe constraints of time. Services which can be available as passively as possible might specifically benefit her, while people in other demographics may benefit from a more involved, "tutorial" style of presentation or involvement with a person. This may be a good place for Generation 4/5 software which is highly adaptive to different personal preferences.
*Academic advising
*Career services
*Tuition Reimbursement Policy- likely she will be receiving funds from her employer to complete degree
*Knowledge ahead of time regarding when exams are held- are they always during the day? This may pose a dilemma. Testing center location
*Admission Process for Returning students/transfer students
*Refresher on degree requirements - if things have changed, etc.
*Credit transfer information
*Advising on course load (full-time student vs. part-time student and how much time to expect for each course)
*Whether the employer is flexible if she needs time to study or take an exam
*Evening or weekend technical support information
*Advise regarding work-life balance
*Virtual tour of campus

Phase 2
*Adult Student Orientation

  • Available online communities—or possibly simply knowledge of available online communities. To someone looking to expand an academic portfolio, networking may be increased in importance.

*Program requirements that potentially could be met through work position (i.e. internships, community service)
*How program requirements/institutional requirements may have changed since last a student
*Knowledge of where the campus is located, how to get there, where the exams will be held
*What will be needed for the exams—proper identification, fees, number two pencils, etc
*Advisor & support system identification
*Academic Calendar for deadlines
*Support available inside online classroom
*Information about career services in case she is interested in discussing new options for her career path
*Optional testing sites. Some institutions offer testing options at any college (a fee from participating colleges is usually required)

Phase 3

  • PLAN for Success (Student Inventory ) What has been working so far? What is not working? Are present courses meeting new career expectation?
  • Body and Mind Assessment- Identifying stressors, time management, procrastination, prioritization techniques, fitness for eye strain, wrist –carpal tunnel, back health, etc. This student is has to meet professional and academic demands.
  • Possibly an alerting service at student's option of delivery (email, Twitter, text, etc) regarding important dates, outages, etc. Such a student might appreciate this effort as being opt-in, time-efficient, and proactive.

*College activities in evening or weekends
*Support for academic, financial and personal done after hours and weekends
*Academic calendar for deadlines, etc.
*Online networking options
*Information about credit for life experience programs, possible adult accelerated programs at 4-year schools

Phase 4
*Career Workshop: Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your core values and skills match up to career alternatives.
*If this person is a career-switcher, introduction to appropriate communities of interest would seem to be a high-value effort.
*Certificate programs or continuing education courses that could be helpful for any future job changes
*Graduate degree programs to continue education
*Online job posting board with jobs specific to one's own career path
*Reassess goals
*Information on getting graduation paperwork and Commencement participation done
*Information on 4 year universities for her new profession
*What 4 year institutions offer fully online degrees that would meet her educational goals

How does this contribute to success?

  • It may have been a long time since the adult student has been in the classroom. Expectations and academic skill set may need to be updated and clarified.
  • Having prior learning recognized and credited may yield college credits, lightening the load of a busy professional. As well, having prior learning and experience validated by college credit helps to bolster a committment to college learning
  • If this person is already driven and experienced in the market, tailoring efforts toward efficiency probably aligns well with her goals. (KTW)

Who is responsible?

  • Continuing Education
  • Student Services is responsible, at our college, for assisting potential PLAR candidates to learn about the PLAR processes and procedures. After that, Program Heads within specific programs. Thus, online students will need contact information

Best delivery?

  • Multi-media presentation to accommodate all types of students.
  • Telephone and E-mail
  • An alerting/notification system that permits student-elected option(s) such as text, email, Twitter, etc.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License