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Going back to college at a later age has many benefits

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 5th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

If you're well into your adulthood, settled into a career, raising a family or making a living, and considering a different path in life offered by furthering your education - educators say that you should seriously consider returning to college, at any age. It's not unusual to see college students in their thirties, forties and fifties. It may in fact be the norm for many colleges. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At one time, college students older than 25 years of age were frequently described by educators and college admissions officers as "non-traditional."  That now longer holds true as more adult students are returning to college than ever before. In 1998, the number of adult learners, college students older than 25 years of age had reached 41 percent.

One of the best aspects of returning to college later in life is the fact that many professors greatly enjoy having adult learners in their classrooms. Robert W. Greene, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of French at the State University of New York at Albany says that adult learners genuinely "want to be where they are, sitting in a classroom taking courses toward a degree."

Greene observed that the adult learners in his classroom tended to "develop good study habits quickly, come to class prepared and seek to learn as much as they can in a course. In a word, they are motivated, thus are a pleasure to teach."

Adult students often "show their younger classmates that being committed to learning is a deeply satisfying way to live."

Greene notes that there are feelings of hesitation for some adult students. He says that sometimes they "feel nervous about returning to the classroom after having been away from formal study for some years."

Whenever he sensed this particular anxiety in his adult students, Professor Greene would point out to them that "their maturity was more of an advantage than a disadvantage to them, and that their very presence in the classroom demonstrated to one and all that their passion to learn and to succeed in their studies was real."

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