The thought of going to college as an adult can be intimidating, but with the right set of tools and a bit of planning, it is achievable. Many colleges offer a combination of convenient class schedule options, including evening, weekend and online courses, making it easier to find time to begin or complete your degree.
If you are thinking about attending college as an adult, consider the following list throughout your planning process.
Do your research
☐ Meet with an admissions representative and tour the campuses of the colleges your are considering.
☐ Utilize the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine job outlook, salary information, etc. for your desired career path.
☐ If you are employed, check with your employer to determine if they offer education benefits that can help cover the cost of your education.
☐ If you have attended college previously or have relevant work experience, check with the colleges you are considering to determine if they accept credit for prior learning.
☐ Connect with instructors who teach in your area of study. Some instructors will have experience working in the career field and can offer insight into the field.
☐ If you have personal connections who work in your desired career field, consider meeting with them to share your plans. They may have valuable recommendations to share.
Identify a support system
☐ If you have young children, make arrangements to ensure they are in daycare, school or have a babysitter during times you need to dedicate to studying.
☐ If you are employed, work with your supervisor to ensure you will not have any scheduling issues as a result of your class schedule.
☐ Setup a time to meet with an academic advisor at the colleges you are considering. They may be able to offer more detail about the curriculum you will complete as part of your degree or program.
☐ Ask instructors or staff at your colleges of interest about study groups to join. Some instructors may offer groups that meet consistently. In other cases, students may organize their own study groups.
Create a success plan
☐ Identify short-term goals (apply to college, a date to register for classes, etc.)
☐ Identify long-term goals (obtain an internship, a date to graduate, etc.)
☐ Create a strict schedule for yourself that includes time for class, work, studying and fun.
☐ Setup a time to meet with a career services team member at the colleges you are considering. They can play a major role in helping to identify career goals and prepare you for your career.
Of course, your own college preparation checklist will include additional items that are specific to your lifestyle, but this list can serve as a starting point.