The Road to Success for Nontraditional Student

As a non-traditional student I am very interested and passionate about ways that would help non-traditional student be successful in college. Three years ago, I realized that I needed to make a lot of changes in my life in order to give myself and my two children a better future. I made the decision to go to college. As a mother of two, and a full-time worker, it has been a very difficult experience, but not impossible. The proof is that, after two years, I graduated with distinction with an A.A.S. from Suffolk County Community College. Now I attend Farmingdale State College pursuing a B.S. in Professional Communications.

For my Research Techniques class, Professor Di Leo gave the students the freedom to pick their own subject. I decided to research on non-traditional student, and more specifically I wanted to know the steps non-traditional student needs to follow to be successful. Before the research I did not have any knowledge on what non-traditional should do. I only knew from my own experience what I have done and doing since I started college in 2015. It was a very emotional experience because the research allows me to realize that I was not the only non-traditional student that had challenges. Au contraire, being a non-traditional student is a guaranty that there will be a lot of challenges. After conducting three research method, survey, interview, and secondary research, I am extremely happy to present my finding and hope that non-traditional student will use my finding as a tool to help them succeed in their college career.

Finding One

Self-Confidence

This research has shown that non-traditional student are usually extremely confident in their ability to succeed. A senior academic advisor at a Sate College stated that

“non-traditional students are self-motivated, they know exactly the reason they are in college, they know for a fact that this is the right thing to do in order to improve their lives.”

From the survey, one of the participant said, “I don’t feel like I really have any barriers besides myself, I’m the only person who can stop me from continuing.” I believe that the first step for non-traditional student to succeed in college is to know that they have what it takes to succeed and believe in their abilities. In other words, non-traditional student first secret is self-confidence. The prove is 86 percent of the surveyors believe their success is due to their self-confidence.

Finding Two

Take Advantage of Campus Resources

For 64 percent of the surveyor better communication about school resources could help them in their success. School resources play an important role into student success, however, when it comes to non-traditional student using school resources can be crucial. The reason for that is because most non-traditional student are students that left school for a while. About 86 percent of the surveyors used the library, and they think the library had helped them in their success. Many other researches have shown that taking advantage of school resources is very important. I often used the Writing Center because I feel it is like having a professor grade my paper before the due date.

Finding Three

Have a Routine

According to the survey, non-traditional student’s top challenges are financial and time management. Non-traditional student must be extremely strict with their school work in order to be successful. They need to know how to prioritize and balance their lives and school responsibilities. If one has kids, full-time job, and school work, then, one must have a routine or a schedule to be able to take care of every responsibilities. As a non-traditional student, I know non-traditional student is more likely to neglect school responsibility than other responsibilities because, the consequences of neglecting school work seem to have less repercussion on them. For example, if one has to choose between having a C or do not go to work without thinking the non-traditional student will take the C because, don’t go to work means he or she might have difficulty to pay the bills.


I am very outspoken about how it can be extremely challenging to balance school, work, and family. The Research exposed the most important things that nontraditional student must follow in order to be successful in their college career.

  • Self-confidence, taking advantage of campus resources, and having a routine are the three most important things that will bring a non-traditional student to a college career success.

Even though they are facing many barriers and challenges, the research has shown that when their confidence level is very high they are more likely to succeed. About 90 percent of the participants gave credit to the library for their success, using school resources is extremely important. It is much easier to talk to peers about not understanding an assignment however, the best thing to do is to go to one of the resource centers such as the Library, the Tutoring Center, the Writing Center, and the Career Center. Despite their financial and time management difficulties in order to be successful non-traditional student must have a routine or a schedule to be able to balance family responsibilities and school work. Self-confident, take advantage of the campus resources, have a routine are the steps that non-traditional student need to follow in order to be successful.

Dear Fellow non-traditional student let’s be successful in college and beyond!

2 Replies to “The Road to Success for Nontraditional Student”

  1. This is really helpful! As a nontraditional student with a family and a 16 year old, I agree that it is crucial to have a schedule and to use the resources available. Having programs like Project Sucess for extra support and community made an incredible difference for me, and I know many others. Being involved had helped me feel ownership over my experince and to make friends. Just by volunteering I have erned scholorships that have eleveated the financial burdon so that I can concentrate on my work.

    Liked by 1 person

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