As early as the 1960’s, researchers began to realize there was a difference between ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ college students (Frazier, Young, Williams, 2012). Characteristics of these two groups differed greatly and those differences are significant factors in the student’s fortitude to pursue higher education. This study examined and discussed some of the challenges faced by non-traditional students in their determination to have the ability to access and pursue higher education. The study utilized a Qualitative Research method. According to the American Council on Education, it is estimated that more than 40% of students enrolled in degree granting programs in higher education were non-traditional students, age 24 or older (Pelletier, 2012). The National Center for Education Statistics released a report of descriptive statistics of nontraditional undergraduate students; nontraditional students were financially independent, often have dependents of their own, did not enter postsecondary education immediately after leaving high school and were working full time while enrolled in school. As compared with a “traditional” student, between 18-23 y/o, financially supported by their parents, did not work, or only worked part-time and unmarried with no dependents (Frazier, Young, Williams, 2012). This study found that non-traditional students were affected by Situational, Institutional and Dispositional barriers. Conducting a survey on nontraditional students from a university in Northern Virginia, and analyzing the data gathered from the survey, the barriers affected nontraditional students differently. This expedition came with many hurdles, such as becoming a student again after a lengthy hiatus from the classroom, which is one of the many of the reasons that characterized them as being nontraditional students. Some aspects of the barriers affected students more, while other aspects affected them very little. The study complemented existing information referencing barrier impact on nontraditional students, while establishing a baseline to conduct future studies centric to rural and metropolitan areas around U.S.
|Commitee:||Wilson, Pamela A., Wesolek, Michael L.|
|School:||Trident University International|
|Department:||College of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Traditional student, Non-traditional college students, Higher education|
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