There are resources for adults considering higher education

Published 6:57 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

By DR. CHERYL GUY

Decatur County Schools

Parent Involvement Coordinator

Are you bored with your current job and want to change careers? Do you need a job? Do you want to obtain a graduate degree to further your career? Do you want to finish the required courses to obtain your undergraduate degree? Are you interested in attending classes for personal enrichment? There are many reasons why adults choose to return to school. If you are thinking about going back to college, here are some tips to help you through your journey.

Do not feel intimidated. Many adults may be intimidated about returning to college, because they may feel that college is only for young people or they may feel too far removed from school. Some adults may have been out of high school a short time, while others may have been out of school for several years. If you have feelings of apprehension, please keep in mind that college is for anyone who wants to learn. Many professors actually prefer to teach adult students because adults bring real world experience to the classroom and often have more motivation and desire to learn than younger students.

Decatur County Schools is not only committed to the education of the child, but the parent as well. To offer parents additional support as potential “adult college students,” we have teamed up with Bainbridge College to provide an informational presentation on topics such as: program descriptions, class schedules, financial aid, the college application process and much more. We know how confusing and mind boggling this whole process can be and would like to assist you as you begin evaluating your options and making college bound decisions.

There will be an information subject on these topics Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 9 a.m., at the Decatur County Schools’ Support Center, located at 507 Martin St. in Bainbridge. The presenters will be Pam Barnes, an adult learning specialist at Bainbridge College, and Catherine Ray, dual enrollment and tutoring specialist at Bainbridge College.

Evaluate your options. The reason why you want to return to college will help determine which school and program is right for you. When evaluating a school or program, consider these questions:

• What programs are available?

• When and how are courses offered?

• Are there any programs specifically designed for adult students?

• How do my previous credits transfer?

• What is the application procedure?

• What support services are available to adult or part-time students?

• What is the cost per credit?

• What types of financial aid are available?

Connect with college personnel as a resource. Although the Internet holds much information about college programs, during the initial fact finding stage, speaking directly with an actual college representative who can answer specific questions and describe components of the college process can help you as you seek to make decisions. Answers to questions involving program offerings, college application and financial aid procedures, academic tutoring availability and more, can pay huge dividends as you begin taking steps toward your potential college bound journey. Utilizing college personnel as a resource will also make your college transition much smoother once you begin classes.