Westminster Adult Education: A tradition for non-traditional students
Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 10:12
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa – Around the corner on the second floor of McKelvey is a quiet, unassuming office that should have a neon light blinking out front with the words “Never Too Late!” This is the motto that drives the Office of Adult and Graduate Studies as they encourage and assist older students in furthering their education. Since 1975, the office, though called by other names such as Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) or Continuing Education, has remained true to its goal of helping the “non-traditional” student in his or her pursuit of a degree.
Director Elizabeth Hines, known by all as Biz, makes it clear that despite the various and possibly confusing names in use for the department, the Adult Education Program is all about earning a degree, not furthering a hobby like basket weaving or crochet. She is always ready to talk with adults about the opportunities for area residents, bringing to the table prior experience from working in both admissions and as a college registrar. Her knowledge helps greatly in the juggling of requirements and schedules that must take place as enrolled adult students hammer out a plan for academic success, as well as familial obligations.
The demands and fears of a non-traditional student taking that first step are quite different from that of a typical freshman breezing onto campus in the fall. Many adult students have a full or part time job, spouse, children, house, and a whole other life beyond the "Westminster Bubble”. The Office of Adult and Graduate Studies is keenly aware of this difference, seeking to be flexible and understanding as it works with adults returning to the rigors of academia.
With the schedule of a non-traditional student in mind, the Office of Adult and Graduate Studies offers four undergraduate degrees a student can earn at Westminster just with evening classes alone. Accounting, Business, English, and Public Relations are staple majors for those wishing to earn a degree, or make a career move, while still holding down a full-time job. Many have chosen that route or a combination of day and evening classes in order to complete the other 41 majors offered at the college. Either way, the reduction in tuition still applies, making the way very appealing for anyone living locally who still has a dream of higher education.
Biz says the whole program is designed to provide a “great opportunity to seek your college degree and study with the finest professors in this nationally recognized college."
A quality education offered at a lower price is a tradition Westminster continues for non-traditional students.