So many of our adult learners have amazing life experiences. How are you defining who they are? So many of us think an adult learner as some over 30 years old who is going back to school. We need to begin to think in terms of life situations versus age. How would you classify a 20-year-old single mom or dad, working part or full time, living on their own? At first glance, they look just like your traditional sophomore student—yet their lives are as different as night and day. Are we doing all we can to help them thrive?

A few smart colleges decided that the adult population, who used to be a “nice to have, but have a lot of needs” cohort, have become a major source of revenue. Shifts in demographics have made the traditional student an undependable first source of revenue.

It’s time to start to rethink how a student earns the education to complete a degree, while being certain to keep the integrity of the learning outcomes. Some colleges and universities are reinventing their entire process. An accountant with 20 years of experience or a veteran with 3, 5, or 10 years in the service may be entitled to credit.

Colleges are reinventing themselves by partnering in unconventional ways. The shift in demographics isn’t anything new to community colleges. Other successful colleges are throwing the conventional admissions and orientation process up in the air and what’s raining down are unique and forward-thinking concepts for enrollment.

This is our opportunity to serve adult students in such a way that we enhance the university and the world with our creative approach to learning. Register for the Stamats Adult Student Integrated Marketing Conference to further define your adult strategy.

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