What is ‘adult-friendly’ college?

Oklahoma Reach Higher students from Oklahoma State University (OSU) Tulsa campus.

45% of college students are adults over the age of 25, according to Forbes.com (contributed by Richard Eisenberg of Next Avenue, Sept. 18, 2017 in The Best Colleges for Adults.). Why does age matter? Many adult students over 25 understand the difficulties of juggling family commitments, job requirements and college classes. Oklahoma’s colleges and universities realize the reality of being an adult student, and are adding value to the college experience and degree attainment with those realities in mind. 

The Lumina Foundation’s Goal 2025 aims to increase the proportion of Americans with postsecondary credentials to 60% by 2025. Lumina’s target group is “adults who had to stop education or never touched higher education but need to find a pathway,” said Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic impact at Lumina Foundation in a New American panel discussion/webinar (Eisenberg, Sept. 18, 2017 on Forbes.com).
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Adult-friendly colleges offer flexible class scheduling, nights and weekends and online course delivery.  Translating a student’s work or life experience into college credit can help to decrease total enrollment costs and make a faster path to degree completion. Statewide, our Reach Higher institutions make a commitment to our adult students by dedicating a coordinator or navigator on each campus to help potential adult students find the degree programs that are the best fit for their busy lifestyles. Highlighting two different pathways for adults to complete a degree, the two Reach Higher programs, DirectComplete and FlexFinish, offer flexibility, support and some financial assistance for working adults.

Reach Higher: DirectComplete navigators assist students with navigating their education experience from enrollment to graduation. They can help adults find financial resources for college, provide information and directions for loan repayment plans and locate supportive services for them. Navigators can direct adults to social clubs and other groups with similar interests that are located on campus, which help students get connected!