Benedictine's Enrollment Spurred by Older Students

Article excerpt

Like many students at Benedictine University, Christopher Cali finds it a scramble to pore through readings, complete course assignments and find time to study for tests.

But unlike many undergraduates, Cali has one other important priority.

He works full-time as a Naperville police officer.

Cali is one of many adult students who enrolled at the Lisle school because of the university's Center for Adult Programs and Services.

The program specializes in offering degrees and training in nontraditional ways.

The effort must be paying off because enrollment is on the rise.

The university recently announced its student enrollment increased by 11 percent, from 1,780 in 1999 to 1,974 this year.

Adult undergraduate enrollment soared by 61 percent from 1999 to 2000. Benedictine officials said they believe the CAPS program is largely responsible.

The university offers adults choices in the location of classes and course schedules and gives credit for life experiences.

"We offer classes at many off-site locations for people who feel fearful about coming back to college," said Donna DeSpain, dean of University College, which provides the adult program. …