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How are you classified?

by Christine Ah Yee, Science & Environemnt assoc. editor

Classes, books, tests, deadlines, projects, mid-terms and finals; these are all typical tasks of a college student, but not all college students are typical. What makes a typical college student? Who is a non-traditional college student? Even the experts – the folks in adult continuing education – have trouble.

Joe Schmiedl, Dean of Options College at Hawai‘i Pacific University said, “15 years ago a person out of school for 10 years or more with a full time job and/or a family had little to no time to obtain a college degree, much less the necessary financial assistance to do so, and from this the definition of a non-traditional student grew. But today, how can you define a non-traditional student? What makes an adult student? ”

Schmiedl is referring to his belief that today two-thirds of all students have jobs or families. Unfortunately, he nor options college, the current name for HPU’s adult education program, have any numbers to verify this belief. Anecdotal evidence apparently, led HPU about five years ago to rename the 15-year-old Adult Continuing Education (ACE) program. It’s now called the Adult Service Center (ASC). Then about two years ago the school created Options College as an umbrella for adult continuing education and distance learning.

According to Schmiedl, Options College offers adult students a lot of choices and opportunities, including the opportunity to meet working adult students in the ASC offices who have already faced the challenges that the new adult student will face.

Each individual college student has needs that make him or her different from any other student, but those students who have a family and/or a fulltime job, can benefit from the services offered by Options College. Some of the services provided are:

• A helpful and encouraging counselor.

• Flexible appointment times

• Staff knowledgeable regarding class information and scheduling.

• Personalized service.

Call 544-9300 or visit the ASC, ninth floor, UB Building.





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