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Ask the Expert – Being a Student as an Adult

By: Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP | Jun 27, 2017

Question: It has been some time since I was in school and feel that I need to update part of my knowledge. Can you give me some idea of how I might get started?

Answer: The first place to start begins with identifying what you feel you want to learn and how you can build time in your schedule to complete the work. There are options now that let you work and learn at your own pace versus sitting in a classroom. The options range from taking course through an online college or ones that send you the materials to complete and do not have a specified time when you must complete them. My best suggestion is that while you research the institutions that interest you keep track of the time you spent. This will let you gauge how much you can take on at one time.

Question: As an adult going back to school to complete a degree is it possible to get credit for work I have already done?

Answer: Most colleges offering Adult Education Options will allow you to apply your past experience and learning through Experiential Learning Credits. To qualify you must complete a form to outline your knowledge which generally includes an essay demonstrating your knowledge. It is not unusual to get as much as 50 percent of your course work complete through this process.

Question: As I look at some of the courses I will need to complete some of the information I have not touched in years. Do any of the college options offer tutoring?

Answer: If you are choosing to take a course that will not involve a classroom those colleges give very little opportunity to interact with the professor. This is based primarily on the low tuition rate. My best suggestion is to have either a high school or college student help you. They are the most familiar with the material and should be able to explain the materials in a way that helps you cover the topic.

Tip from the Expert: Before starting an educational endeavor check with your employer on tuition re-imbursement. There are many firms that will pay as much as $5000 per semester towards tuition as a way to enhance the value of their staff.

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