There has been a growing trend in the number of non-traditional students enrolling in higher learning institutions. These students possess certain admirable characteristics that set them apart from other students.
Non-traditional students tend to meticulously invest time in enhancing their learning experience by getting involved in social activities that place more emphasis on finding academic and career mentors. Therefore, they benefit from networking with the right mentors that will spur them on in their academic careers and later, at the workplace.
These students will likely have a business mindset. The mindset comes with an expectation of consumer oriented services from higher education institutions. They also seek out efficient educational experiences that generate immediate monetary results. They may look around to find the best “educational” deal in order to save money and maximise learning outcomes.
These students are also more conscientious about the quality of their education. Non-traditional students find more faculty support and prioritise school work and assignment time to truly excel.
Aside from this, one of the most prevalent characteristics of non-traditional students is age. The age range most frequently associated with non-traditional students is 26-45. Evidence suggests that a growing number of students are entering (or re-entering) college after retirement from the workforce. Research suggests that maturity with age is associated with greater confidence and satisfaction, especially when students are managing academic responsibilities with family and career.
Age is a predictor for higher levels of motivation and successful goal attainment. Non-traditional students report higher levels of motivation and goal achievement.
Over the last 30 years, the number of females earning college degrees has generally outpaced that of males. Females obtain more than 50% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded, while the number of STEM degrees awarded to males is double the amount awarded to females.
Overall, females perform better and work with more diligence compared to their male counterparts. In addition, females tend to attain higher levels of academic engagement.
In conclusion, non-traditional students seem to be more focused on their learning than traditional students.
Mandy Mok has three decades of corporate experience driven by a deep passion for the advancement of Higher Education.
Joining QS in June 2002 was a major career move which gave her ample opportunities to spearhead their pioneering work for International Higher Education, particularly in Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA).
In her capacity as CEO of QS Asia, Mandy has offered the best of branding, consultancy, and student recruitment services to Universities in the region.
Visits to over 250 Universities in the AMEA region gave her compelling insights into prevailing realities and future requirements of its higher education. With these in mind, she has constantly supported top University leaders with strategies for advancement, globalization and internationalization.
Sensitive to the specific needs of AMEA institutions, Mandy has left QS to start AppliedHE on 1 January 2020, a new higher education branding and rating agency which is focused on employability, quality of teaching and learning, and collaboration with industry.
AppliedHE brings the benefits of a fresh, new technology-driven operation to the field of higher education branding, ratings and professional networking. It leverages big data and artificial intelligence together with Mandy’s vast and specialist experience to reinvent her industry and with it, the higher education sector.