There are many reasons why students struggle in college when enrolling soon after high school. They may encounter financial struggles, have family changes, not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, or just not find joy in the traditional college experience. There are also many reasons why students return to college later in life. They likely have careers they want to further, families they want to support, and goals they want to reach.
SNU-Tulsa students have thrived academically and professionally, thanks to a unique model designed specifically for adults returning to college. Keep reading to discover why adults are graduating from SNU-Tulsa and reaching their goals.
They Take One Class at a Time
SNU-Tulsa's model is to offer classes at an accelerated pace. That means adult students take classes one evening a week and only focus on one course at a time. Once they finish a class, they move on to the next.
Jennifer Moody, an Organizational Leadership student set to graduate from SNU-Tulsa in May 2020, said, “One night a week makes it very feasible even with a career and family.”
This course schedule prevents some of the challenges adult students have at traditional campuses, where they may be taking three to six classes concurrently at various days and times throughout the week. With the accelerated model, they are able to manage their time more effectively and succeed at small goals which helps them build momentum as they work toward graduation.
Related Article: Why Accelerated Courses Work for Adult Students
They Get Books Delivered Straight to Their Door
Purchasing and renting textbooks for college classes can be a challenge, with attempting to find the best price, the right edition, and one that is in good condition. SNU-Tulsa utilizes a textbook rental service called Tree of Life. Students are automatically opted into this program, so they can have their textbooks automatically delivered before the beginning of each class.
“Having the books sent straight to my home on a rental basis was brilliant!” Moody said.
This takes one extra chore off of students’ already crowded plates and allows them to focus on what matters. Or, if they have another solution that works for them, they can always opt out.
They Learn with Other Adults
In classes designed for adults, students benefit from learning alongside others in the same stage of life. They have other people to share their life and professional experiences with, as well as the challenges that accompany full-time work and study.
For Tama Treat, B.S. Business Administration student, connecting with peers has been a highlight of her time at SNU-Tulsa.
“Engaging in class with other adult learners gives you a broader spectrum pool to learn from,” Treat said. “Each person has something different to contribute.”
Classmates also become supporters and friends as the program goes on. The classroom experience is enriched by the students’ cumulative life experiences, making their degrees more valuable.
They Can Continue Working While Going to School
Because classes take place one evening a week at the same day and time throughout the program, many adult students continue working full-time jobs in addition to raising their family while going back to school. They are able to attend class and complete assignments without taking time off from work or having to work odd hours.
Another Organizational Leadership student, Aaron Wesson works full-time in addition to supporting his large family and is set to graduate Feb. 2020.
“I am 45 with 10 kids and I work a full-time job as a director,” Wesson said. “If I can do this you will have no issues doing the same.”
As current working professionals, SNU-Tulsa instructors understand the pressures of being a working adult and student and structure their courses accordingly.
Related Article: How Adult Students Can Achieve Work-Life Balance
They Earn College Credit for Life Experiences
SNU-Tulsa’s Prior Learning Assessment ensures that the time students have spent learning outside of the classroom does not go to waste. By undertaking the assessment, students can earn college credit toward their undergraduate degree completely free based on lessons learned in professional trainings as well as in everyday life. Ultimately, it leads to sooner graduation date and shows SNU-Tulsa’s deep respect for the adult student.
Related Article: 5 Reasons to Go to College in Tulsa
They Make the Most of a Generous Transfer Policy
In addition to the Prior Learning Assessment. SNU-Tulsa also has a generous transfer policy ensuring those who have attended one or more universities can make the most of the investment they've already made in their college education. Students who have moved multiple times due to career shifts or military deployments find this extra helpful. The streamlined transfer process allows them to pick up where they left off and quickly finish their degrees.
“As a retired military member, SNU-Tulsa helped me take the degree credits that I had already garnered and created me a degree plan,” Wesson said. “On top of that, I was able to write life learning papers to garner more college credit.”
They Learn from Experts in the Field
Learning from those who have first-hand experience is a tenant of an SNU-Tulsa education. Adult students benefit from their instructors’ expertise and make the most of it by engaging in class discussion and asking questions. The instructors are able to draw upon years in the field to enrich the learning experience, even for those students who have been in the workforce for many years.
Moody said, “I also loved the classes being catered to adults. There was no busywork, and I learned a ton.”
Supportive Staff Members
The entire staff at SNU-Tulsa is dedicated to making a college education possible for adult students.
Treat appreciated getting to know the staff members during her studies, adding, “you become almost family-like.”
The SNU-Tulsa employees surround the learners with support, from securing transcripts from previous institutions, enrolling in courses, excelling in the classroom, and stepping across the graduation stage. With a chaplain dedicated to adult students, student success team, and more, they are available to address needs, whether they are academic, spiritual or situational.
Related Article: 5 Steps to Thriving as an Adult student
They Decide to Start
While back to school requires time, energy, and financial investments, but the return for your efforts is well worth it. Shan Reed, an MBA-Healthcare student, said there is no reason to hesitate.
“Do not wait,” Reed said. “Two years will pass with or without you getting a degree. Why not get a degree!”
Apply today to join other adults currently working toward their goals at SNU-Tulsa. You can begin with your bachelor’s degree, continue your education with a master’s degree, or enroll in a doctoral program. Online options are also available to students outside of the Tulsa area or who can’t clear a full evening a week to attend class. We are here to help you on your educational journey!