Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Supporting Latino Non-Traditional Students

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Supporting Latino Non-Traditional Students

Article excerpt

Priming the Pump...

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream, " - C.S Imvis

The Association for Non-Traditional Students in I II Ilffigher Education (ANTSHE) reports that stuI I v/dents between the ages of 25 to 69 comprise nearly 47 percent of the new7 and returning student population on many of today's college campuses. Latinos are a large part of those non-traditional students heading back to school after an academic hiatus. Sometimes they have raised a family and find themselves redefining their lives. Changes in technology, a changing job market, a sluggish economy and changing personal interests are other reasons why adults w7ho have been working in or out of the home return to the classroom. Many Latino returning students must prime the pump to re-enter academia with ease and success.

Consider first their point of view7: leave or diversify w7hat you have been doing for years and pursue something different - perhaps related to what you have been doing, maybe totally divergent. You might be redefining the next phase of your life or career; perhaps you are pursuing something you have long wanted to do. Whatever the reason, the returning student enters higher education hoping that something good awaits, but unaware of exactly w7hat or how7 it will be.

Mastering technology can be one of the greatest hurdles for Latinos returning to school. Since computers used in the classroom and online are the a primary tool for sharing information and getting assignments completed, being up to speed with software and social media is crucial. A student cannot be "too old" for it; there is no escaping it. They just need to do it. For Latinos who find themselves behind the ccurve, refresher courses or the help of friends, family (and even their own children) can help them get up to speed.

Every Latino returning student brings a personal history of school experiences. If past experiences have been good and the student is well-prepared, the re-entry7 into academia will be refreshing and smooth. Those with negative experiences in their early school years, however, might be ill-prepared or have bad memories of teachers, grades and competition. Reentry might be harder for them since old wounds can fester and fear can arise when classroom challenges arc presented. …

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