The Office of Professional and Graduate Studies is celebrating nontraditional learners this week, as part of the Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education‘s “National Nontraditional Student Week.” This week of recognition is celebrated annually, and from Nov. 4-8, 2013, colleges across the country, including Hiram College, will show their dedication to helping nontraditional students become more visible within the community of university and college life.
The Office of Professional and Graduate Studies kicked off this celebration with Weekend College and Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) students on Saturday, Nov. 2, with a luncheon in Dix Dining Hall between classes. More than 20 gift cards from local businesses and merchandise from the bookstore were donated, and students names were drawn as winners of these items.
“We recognize the sacrifices that our students make, and we understand and appreciate the time and resources that it takes for them to return to school,” said Jennifer McDonough, Associate Dean for Professional and Graduate Studies. “We want to be there to serve as a support network, and we will do whatever we can to help our students complete their degree.”
The Weekend College, which offers courses every other weekend for working adults, was founded in 1977 as the first weekend program in Ohio and only the second in the nation. Options for nontraditional learners have since grown at Hiram College, to degrees offered through partnership programs at community colleges (like Lorain County Community College), online degree programs and graduate coursework.
The average adult student age at Hiram College is 38, and 88 percent of adult students are employed outside the home. The Hiram College commitment to teaching and mentoring is evident in adult programs, too, with a student to faculty ratio of 11:1. Adult students who bring in transfer credits can graduate in as few as 18 months, and all who complete their Hiram College degree are more prepared for work and life, advancement/career changes and leadership roles.
The Office of Professional and Graduate Studies is very proud of the more than 2,200 graduates who have completed the program, and they’re thrilled to honor all of their current students not only during Nontraditional Student Week, but throughout the entire year.