Job Security and Non-Traditional Students


TRENDING: Adults and Continuing Higher Education         RESULT: Job Security For You!

Last week I attended the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) conference in New Orleans. A memorable highlight was the keynote speech from LSU’s President, Dr. F. King Alexander. His topic was the inevitable changes in the higher education model. Dr. King focused on the implications of the College Scorecard Project and the dysfunctional funding and financial aid situation.

The conference audience was higher ed administrators and people in support roles related to non-traditional students; or, continuing and adult education. So despite the gloomy reality, a huge takeaway from Dr. King’s speech was that if you work with adult students, whether recruiting or supporting their success, you have job security!

For those of us in the Northeast and the Midwest, we are more familiar with the shift in student demographics and the trend of adults returning to college. According to NCES, the national enrollment growth rate of non-traditional students will surpass the traditional age student between now and 2024.

Dr. King noted that this trend necessitates a shift of attention by higher education leadership, as well as different funding, financial aid, and other services for adult student recruiting and services. There is a lot to do. PS&L completely agrees.

Recently PS&L conducted adult and graduate enrollment research to learn more about how different institutions are preparing and planning to capture a piece of this market. I had a chance to talk with folks at the conference about our findings. Everyone I met was well aware of the deficiencies and was open minded about new ideas to work more efficiently with this audience.

Continuing Higher Education

TAKEAWAY: If you are associated with efforts to recruit, retain and help adult students succeed, feel secure in knowing your skills are needed. Non-traditional is becoming the new traditional.



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Janet Sieff,

Over 30 years of experience in higher education marketing, admissions, and financial aid. Fifteen of those years spent on a campus managing the high school recruitment operations and negotiating articulation agreements. Off-campus experience includes consulting for college cost affordability, tuition payment plan implementation, online media campaign sales, lead generation, college prep content sales, and strategic planning for national branding.