Returning students

Overview

Returning Students

Welcome! Going back to college as an adult can be a daunting (sometimes even scary), but very worthwhile experience. We all know that there are many talented and accomplished individuals who never went to college or for some reason or another were not able to complete their degree. For many, earning that “piece of paper” can make a significant difference in their professional or personal life (the achievement of a lifelong dream) – but the idea of returning to college after a long absence can present quite a challenge.

Often adults who are returning to college after years of not being in a classroom are apprehensive about not fitting in (for example, being thrust into a classroom with 18 to 25 year olds), taking good notes, studying, and doing well on tests. The admissions and financial aid process sometimes can be a confusing and frustrating experience. LBCC is eager to assist you and has many student support services.  But you will need to become educated about all of these programs and services to take advantage of them for your success.

If you’re ready to change your career, enrich your mind, or even embark on a whole new life plan, maybe it’s time to get back into the classroom. This website will provide you with a few guidelines to help get you onto the campus and enjoy the entire college experience.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long it has been. You are not alone - millions of adults have done it before you. Take that first step. You will be glad you did!

Who Are You?

Returning older students (also called re-entry, adult, or non-traditional students) are generally age 25 or over, with ages ranging from 25 to 69.  Many have spent time in the workforce, the military, or raising a family, and want to go back to fulfill lifelong dreams or potential. Some are retired while others are single parents looking to achieve a better life.  Economic reasons are a strong factor: students want to change careers or update professional credentials. Some adult students continue to work while returning to college while others attend part-time. You may be just starting a degree program, returning to finish a degree, seeking a certificate, or taking courses for career advancement.  It is never too late to go back to college.

Fear

Anyone who’s been out of an academic setting for a number of years understands first hand all the anxieties associated with going back to college. There can be all sorts of worries. One of the easiest explanations for peoples’ hesitation to go back to college is the simple, honest fear of failure – especially for those who didn’t excel in high school. Adults returning to school understand that they are living entirely different lifestyles than when they were teens.

Many nontraditional students have jobs, families, and sometimes even other obligations like church or volunteer commitments to balance. Failing classes, inability to keep up at work, and falling short with familial duties plague the soon-to-be-student’s mind.

Of course, fear of the unknown can seem equally as terrifying as the fear of failure. Even though the LBCC campus is relatively small in comparison to some colleges, it can seem huge and intimidating to anyone unfamiliar with it. Concern about finding your way around or if you can even make it from one class to the next without getting lost or being late are common.

No matter how much you plan or prepare, or how many supportive people you have in your life, there will always be an element of fear until you’ve gotten into the swing of things. Also remember that half the things we worry about never come to pass. With a little preparation and time you will make a nice transition into college and success will be yours – for keeps.

Resources for Adult Learners

We in the Learning and Academic Resources (LAR) Department understand that you, as an adult learner, returning to college after years away from school face a unique set of challenges.  You have great responsibility, little time, financial obligations, and anxiety related to the entire college process. The LAR Department offers services, programs, and courses to help you:

  • Transition into a collegiate environment and culture.
  • Develop new skills for success in your chosen degree or certificate program.
  • Obtain specialized learning to get you back into the workforce as soon as possible.

We have a number of ways in how we offer our classes and services to better fit your everyday life demands.

  • Online
  • On campus
  • Days
  • Evenings
  • Weekends

Also this webpage offers you a source of information and links to services beyond the LAR Department.  So take a look.  And please feel free to stop by either location, LAC, L212 or PCC, EE 206.  We’ll keep an eye out for you!

Advantages of Being an Older Student
Some Guidelines for Getting Started

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Tips for Returning Students

Whether it’s finding the money or worrying about tests, going back to college can be stressful for adult students. These tips can make your life a bit easier.

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Technology for Returning Students

With technology, the landscape of college education has done a complete turnaround.  The days of notebooks, printed syllabi, and textbooks are changing.  Now it’s tablets, smartphones, and eBooks.  Grades, assignments, and GPA calculators as well as audio recorders, phone cameras, virtual flashcards, and note taking software are a small sampling of technology tools that are used by the modern college student.  Textbooks and notebooks are not the only items being taken over by technology on the college campus.  Online courses are becoming an increasing