The professional development staff of the Early Learning Division have had the privilege of working with Race to the Top Supplemental Scholarship students for over a year. The average age of these students is 42 years old and they are joining a unique group of students who are going from career to college. These students are currently in a career of early learning that they enjoy very much. Most of them work full time while going to school. We have learned several lessons about this career to college path through the many conversations that we are so lucky to have with them on a regular basis. We are sure that the lessons they have learned will help all adults who are working in early childhood that are also thinking about returning to college. I’d like to share some with you:
- Get key supporters in your life involved in your decision. Have them help you plan strategies that will be needed to accommodate your new college schedule, including time for homework.
- Remember why you wanted to go to college. Students are often pulled in multiple directions with family, work, and school. When things get tough, it’s hard for them to remember why they took this challenging path and remembering helps them re-center.
- Talk with an advisor very early in the process. They can help to create an educational plan. You don’t want to spend time and/or money taking courses that you didn’t need or can’t use toward your degree.
- Registration: There’s so much to know about this area. Key things to know:
- Know the earliest time you are allowed to register.
- Register as early as possible. Classes fill up quickly, especially popular online courses.
- Know what classes have pre-requisites.
- Have several back up classes in mind just in case some are already full.
- Brush up on subjects that you may be rusty in, such as math, writing, etc., before you enroll in that subject. Many of our students were surprised at how much more time, energy and thought they had to put into some of the general education requirements.
- Find fun apps on your smart phone that test your knowledge in these subjects.
- LearningExpress Library is a great website to strengthen your general education knowledge and skills.
- Find key individuals to ask questions and for assistance when you need it. Your college is often abundant with resources. It’s worth the time to familiarize yourself with the college website, and catalog to learn about the different departments and resources.