Author Topic: How to get back into College  (Read 1249 times)

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Jocelyn

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2014, 11:44:01 AM »
I'm glad someone asked this question, as I too have been thinking about going back to school. I've browsed college websites, but I wonder how much if any of my previous schooling would count for anything? I graduated H.S.and did some college, but it was 15+ years ago. Should I just start over as though I've not done any post-secondary at all?Depends. How crucial is that topic to your degree, and how much have you used the information from the class over the years? For example, it might be worth it to repeat a math class if your major is in the sciences. If you've had jobs that used writing skills, you might not need to repeat English composition. How do I go about obtaining my ancient transcripts? Contact the registrar's office at your former university.Is a full-rounded core curriculum necessary? Depends upon the requirements of the school you're enrolling in. If this is a state school, the requirements were set by the Board of Regents or some other authority above the university, so they're limited in their ability to play Let's Make a Deal. For example, if 'History of Our State' is one of the options and you took state history in another state, no one at the university will have the power to accept that. Are huge ridiculously expensive textbooks still used, or is everything online now (and does one still pay huge costs for E-books?) Yes.  ::) It depends upon the university. At my current school, students rent textbooks, and the price is based on the number of credit hours. At Amazon, the rental boprice is based on the price of the text. Ebooks are always cheaper than paper books, and more and more books are being published as ebooks. Professors are more likely to give you links to articles online than they have in the past, due to concerns about copyright I kind of dread campus life only because I know non-traditional students are more common in recent years, but I picture all my classes full of 18-yr-olds, and then me, with no connection to it all. But you will have the most important connection of all: professors adore nontraditional students. You'll have plenty of classmates who are living off campus, working long hours to be able to support themselves and pay for their educations. I've taught on a campus where nontrads were our trads  :D and am now teaching on a very traditional campus...but even so, a lot of our traditional-aged students aren't living in the dorms on daddy's dime. Plus, until you get into your major, you won't be seeing these students again after the semester ends, so it's only for a few months, and if you're just sitting in a lecture together, you don't have to be friends.Also, I would live at home, have a child and dogs to care for, so wouldn't be hanging out on campus for long hours getting to know people. I guess my problem is not so much the application process itself, but that I still don't know what I want to do with my life, though I'm supposedly old enough that I should, and knowing before long my child will be off figuring that out and I'll still be here feeling like my one accomplishment is all grown up and finding herself, and I'm still lost. Wow, that went a lot deeper than I expected when I started writing.

poundcake

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2014, 11:50:23 AM »
A nontraditional student can still have a fulfilling college experience, if you make a real effort to get involved with campus life and stay involved. There are many colleges that have whole organizations for NTS. The place where I did my undergrad was fantastic for this. But it's still up to you to carve out the time, to tell the spouse and the kids and the dog, "No, it's a school day/night."

Coley

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2014, 12:14:10 PM »
I'm glad someone asked this question, as I too have been thinking about going back to school. I've browsed college websites, but I wonder how much if any of my previous schooling would count for anything? I graduated H.S.and did some college, but it was 15+ years ago. Should I just start over as though I've not done any post-secondary at all? How do I go about obtaining my ancient transcripts? Is a full-rounded core curriculum necessary? Are huge ridiculously expensive textbooks still used, or is everything online now (and does one still pay huge costs for E-books?) I kind of dread campus life only because I know non-traditional students are more common in recent years, but I picture all my classes full of 18-yr-olds, and then me, with no connection to it all. Also, I would live at home, have a child and dogs to care for, so wouldn't be hanging out on campus for long hours getting to know people. I guess my problem is not so much the application process itself, but that I still don't know what I want to do with my life, though I'm supposedly old enough that I should, and knowing before long my child will be off figuring that out and I'll still be here feeling like my one accomplishment is all grown up and finding herself, and I'm still lost. Wow, that went a lot deeper than I expected when I started writing.

Some colleges and universities offer credit for work experience, and it's possible some of your previous coursework might transfer. That would probably depend on the institution though. Credit for work experience has become a trend lately in what's known as "competency-based learning." Back in the '90s when I was working on my master's degree, my university offered credit for work experience to undergraduate students.

Try making transcript requests with the registrar. I just obtained transcripts for both my undergraduate and graduate work. I graduated in 1989 with my bachelor's degree and in 1995 with my master's. I was able to do the transcript request for my bachelor's degree online. My graduate institution required me to mail the request.

Yes, expensive textbooks are still used; however, there are a variety of options. Online used book vendors abound. My only caution if you order your books from a used book vendor is to make sure you're ordering exactly the right book and that it will arrive before the class starts. (I teach college courses online, and my students have these issues frequently.) In addition to used books, there are e-books. A downside of e-books, from what I understand, is that they can't be returned. Jocelyn mentioned renting books, too. Some institutions, particularly those with online courses, may include an e-book with the cost of the course.

I think the line between "traditional" vs. "nontraditional" students is blurring in recent years. I have had nontraditional students in my 16-week daytime courses. Sometimes I have what might be considered traditional students in my evening and online courses. A lot of my daytime students have jobs and aren't living on campus. Some of them are living on campus and experiencing the traditional student life. There may be campus organizations for nontraditional students, as a PP mentioned. Some academic departments also will have clubs and activities.

cicero

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2014, 01:56:47 PM »
Nikko chan, i will give you advice that I was given many years ago - just start. Go on the Uni website first, make an appointment with a course advisor, and start - take one class or three but just start.

I started college in my 20s, got thisclose to finish, and didn't. When i was 44, newly separated from now-ex H, working full time and raising a child i went back to school (in fact, it was one of the first things i did after our separation). It's not easy, there is often information online that doesn't make sense to anyone but the registrars at the uni, but once you get started it starts to get clear. Or at least clear-ER. when i started, i sounded a bit like you - very unsure, i think i sorta kinda knew what i wanted to study, but i was focusing on the difficulties and the obstacles. A friend told me "just go and register for one course". and I did - i actually took two courses that were the basic prerequisites and went hand-in-hand. and i was hooked. and i actually ended up with a different major ( i was able to switch my major and minor without losing any courses) which happens a lot. so what i'm saying is - right now you don't know what's going to be, what you want, what you may want in the future, but just start and take a course or two and see what happens.

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Nikko-chan

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2014, 02:31:06 PM »
I called the college to get info aaaand... no one answered.  :P I am going to try again a bit later.

jmarvellous

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2014, 02:31:48 PM »
I called the college to get info aaaand... no one answered.  :P I am going to try again a bit later.

It is a holiday. Try Monday.

Nikko-chan

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2014, 02:36:07 PM »
I called the college to get info aaaand... no one answered.  :P I am going to try again a bit later.

It is a holiday. Try Monday.

Aaaand i totally forgot it was July 4th >.< Whoops. thanks for reminding me though, jmarvellous.

jmarvellous

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2014, 02:38:23 PM »
I called the college to get info aaaand... no one answered.  :P I am going to try again a bit later.

It is a holiday. Try Monday.

Aaaand i totally forgot it was July 4th >.< Whoops. thanks for reminding me though, jmarvellous.

No problem! Good luck next week!

And do keep in mind that you might have to be pretty persistent; I know in most every office I've worked in, this is a high time for inquiries and a very low time for staffing (everyone wants to take vacation).

Nikko-chan

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2014, 02:44:44 PM »
Interesting little tidbit: The college I am looking into has learning communities based on specialty! Awesome.

gollymolly2

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Re: How to get back into College
« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2014, 01:20:21 PM »
Make sure that you also spend time looking into the school from resources other than the school itself. There are many schools out there that prey on non-traditional students and offer low quality education and poor employment prospects at a high cost. Make sure the schools you're interested are reputable and good investments before you let them make a sales pitch!