Ways That Trade Schools And Technical Colleges Accommodate The Increasing Nontraditional Student Population

Posted on: 30 October 2017

Nontraditional students at post-secondary schools are defined by numerous possible characteristics, such as age and part-time status. As the population of these students continues to increase dramatically, technical colleges and trade schools make significant efforts to create schedules and features that are advantageous for these individuals. You may want to finish a program relatively quickly and start working in your new chosen career. Coursework for electrician certification, for example, can usually be completed in just one semester. 

About Nontraditional Students

People in their mid-20s or older who are working on a degree, certificate or other post-secondary program are considered nontraditional students. So are those who attend part-time, even if they are younger. Married students and those with children fit into this category as well.

Not all that long ago, these individuals used to make up a much smaller percentage of the student body than they do now.

Statistics

These days, nearly 50 percent of students attending a college or university while working on an undergraduate degree have one or more of the nontraditional characteristics. At technical colleges and trade schools, part-timers make up about 60 percent of the student body. They may be taking most of their courses through distance learning opportunities or they might be attending classes that fit around their work schedule.

One student might be 30 years and enrolled full-time in an electrician training program after saving up enough money to do so. Another might only be taking classes at night and online while working full-time during the day.

Accommodating Nontraditional Students

Most of these students typically need flexible schedules instead of the standard 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. timetable with a small number of evening courses built in. Those who attend a brick-and-mortar school instead of a distance learning institution may want to finish the entire program through night and weekend courses.

They also appreciate being able to complete some or even all of their courses online. Internet capability allows teachers to hold many lecture-based classes in this manner. Distance education is fast becoming the norm in many fields.

Self-study options are appealing to these students as well. Accelerated programs that allow students to accomplish their requirements at their own quicker pace are increasingly offered due to high demand.

Concluding Thoughts

With so many options available, it's easier than ever for nontraditional students to complete a program that leads to a rewarding career or better opportunities in their current field. Finding a school that offers an optimum schedule and an environment that feels comfortable is important. You can start by looking at local possibilities and online schools with excellent reputations. 

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