Tuesday, March 22, 2016

5 Tips to Help Adult Learners Be Successful When They Return to School

As a working adult learner, you have a lot on your plate. At Peirce, my job is to equip students with the tools they need to find their balance and be successful as they juggle work, life, and school.  

Whether you’re returning to school after a session away or after a fifteen year break, finding your groove and managing this balance can be tough. Time and again, I’ve seen students who practice these five tips make it through this transition and come out on top academically.

Create a strong academic foundation. When you start the session, make sure you understand your responsibilities as a student. Talk to your advisor and professors about what is expected of you, and what you can do to succeed. In each class you sign up for, get to know the syllabus and your professor. Set a goal for the GPA that you would like to achieve, and work with your Peirce support network (advisor, professors, tutors, and fellow students) to come up with a plan so that you can meet your goal.

Be a voracious learner. Take every chance to learn from professors and fellow adult learners, and share your knowledge and experiences with them. One of the greatest assets you have as an adult learner is your life and career experience, and learning and sharing with others can help you reach your personal and professional goals.

Don’t be scared to get involved. Once you have a strong academic footing, take advantage of extracurricular opportunities. You may decide to attend career fairs, networking events, workshops, or even by joining an honors society. Adding more to your plate might seem overwhelming at first, but in reality getting involved allows you to bond with your peers, get to know the faculty, and network with potential employers -- all added benefits of the college experience. Not to mention, these kinds of activities look great on your resume!

Connect virtually. If you can’t make it to campus, take advantage of online workshops, or connect with fellow Peirce students on social media. If you’re taking a Peirce Fit™ class, you can also use the online option to stay on top of your school work during a week when other obligations get in the way (for example, if your child is sick, or if you have an important project at work). You can learn more about this revolutionary learning format here.

Lean on your support network. At Peirce, we’re always reminding students that it’s okay to ask for help! Don’t be shy about reaching out to your Peirce support network if you feel overwhelmed. It’s our job to help you reach your goal of graduating and earning your degree, and your advisor is always ready to intervene and help you formulate an action plan if you feel like you need some extra coaching or help defining your priorities. 

Keep these tips in mind as you navigate the first weeks of Session 4, and as you continue on your journey to graduation. Remember, you can do this; Peirce can help.

To learn more about how Student Services at Peirce are customized for adult learners, click here