ICE: Three important needs for nontraditional students

Very Diverse Students

By Floretta M. Bush, PhD
Executive Director, OC Continuing Education

The term gets tossed around a lot, but what exactly is a “nontraditional college student?” According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), a nontraditional student is one who has one or more of the following characteristics: a) is financially independent, b) has dependents, c) is a single parent, d) works full-time, e) attends part-time, f) has a GED instead of a high school diploma, or g) delayed college enrollment.

Sound familiar? It should. Nine out of 10 community college students and six out of 10 university students are considered nontraditional. You may be or have been one of them. I know I was.

My research of nontraditional college students has found that three criteria are very important to their success: information, convenience and encouragement, or ICE, as I call them. Continue reading

Career Search Tools Are, You Guessed It, On the Internet

OC_CE_blog_Internet

By Floretta M. Bush, PhD
Executive Director, OC Continuing Education

When deciding upon a career, a number of factors should be considered. Among those factors are your interests and abilities, and whether a job will be waiting for you when you complete your training. Most of us have career interests, and some of us know our true abilities, but very few of us do much homework about the jobs that are out there. For example, job availability never crossed my mind as a teen entering college to study journalism.

In my own defense, career information wasn’t all that plentiful at my small, rural high school. But that’s not the case anymore. Career information has never been more plentiful or accessible. That’s right. It’s all on the Internet. All it takes is a little bit of research to turn up information ranging from the occupations with the highest growth, to working conditions, training requirements, and salaries.

In the interest of getting you started with your homework, I have identified a few websites that will give you some valuable insights into the world of work.

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We all have to start somewhere.


Road in Big Bend, TX

By Floretta M. Bush, PhD
Executive Director, OC Continuing Education

It’s that time of year when all the sayings, truisms, platitudes…whatever you want to call them…come out to play with our minds. We talk about new beginnings, turning over a new leaf, and how there is never a better time than right now to follow our dreams.

But transforming our dreams into reality is another matter altogether, isn’t it? It might help to think about it this way: We all have to start somewhere.

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What the heck is continuing education?

Question

By Floretta M. Bush, PhD
Executive Director, OC Continuing Education

Lots of things are difficult to describe. Perhaps you have used the expression “I’ll know it if I see it” when you couldn’t quite conjuer up the words to describe something. I know I have. And like you, I usually do know “it” (whatever “it” is) when I see it.

As a continuing education professional, I have found that I work in a field that many people find hard to describe. To “continue” means simply “to keep on, to go on, to persist.” “Education” involves the acts of teaching and learning, depending upon whether you are on the giving or the receiving end. Simple, right?

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