Recently, my colleague Marissa Poulson came across a report about why so many adult college students don’t finish the degree program they start and blogged about it on the Anthem Education site.
Marissa had come across a report called With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them: Myths and Realities About Why So Many Students Fail to Finish College. Its authors had interviewed graduates and non-graduates ages 22-30 to see why some graduated and some didn’t. She came to these conclusions:
The fact is, a growing number of today’s college students have a lot of responsibilities outside of home and need tangible help to stay in school, including financial assistance, flexible class schedules, and childcare. Students like this are “changing the college landscape and the definition of today’s college student.”
After reading Marissa’s post, I took a look through the report and suggest a third bullet point:
Too many colleges are stubbornly clinging to a model that doesn’t work for a lot of students, who end up “failing” to finish college. Or as I see it, colleges fail to respond to these student’s needs.
With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them focused on ex-students and graduates ages 22 to 30 and collected a lot of statistics. Here are a few things its authors learned about students who didn’t finish school:
In addition, 62% of students who left college were paying tuition on their own. These students were working full- or part-time.
Almost 70% who “failed” to finish college didn’t have any kind of financial help. They didn’t have scholarships, family assistance, or other sources to turn to.
The authors also took the interesting step to talk to students who finished college. Fifty-eight percent of these students also agreed that textbook and “other fees” impacted their first year in college, and 52% agreed that working and attending school was stressful. There was no discussion of what colleges are doing to make students’ live less stressful and more productive.
I keep wondering, what if those students who “failed” out of college knew about online education? A good online school, taught by educators who understand the concepts of online education, and staffed by people whose jobs are to support student success, could be an answer.
Anthem College Online strives to serve this population of students who are smart, dedicated, and poorly served by too many of today’s higher education institutions. It was created to give students the flexibility to attend classes that fit their busy lives. It isn’t an easier approach—students still have to keep to a schedule to make sure they log in to classes, discussion boards, and complete assignments on time—but it works for many of them, including those with families and/or jobs.
Here are few examples of how Anthem College Online approaches the needs of today’s adult learners:
The report doesn’t mention career preparation services or whether students were aware of any while at school. Career Services are an important part of Anthem College Online. Most students begin working with Anthem’s Career Services Department after they have completed their first 90 days of classes. Career Services, which is also delivered online, uses tools to help students learn how to interviews, teaches students to develop resumes and cover letters (and provides them with a packet to hold resumes, business cards, and thank-you notes), and provides important networking services.
If you or someone you know wants to return to school and finish a degree, take a look at Anthem College Online. You will find a supportive and attentive online academic environment where students come first. Browse our programs, chat with a representative, and take another look at how education can work for you.
Tell us: Are you a graduate who has overcome obstacles to complete school or are you a current student who is facing some of these issues? What has been the most important thing you’ve learned from the experience? How can (or did) Anthem help you?