Education is an important part of all of our lives. Personally, we’ve been in school for 13 years or more, depending on our collegiate experience. As parents, we’ve put thoughts into preschool, private vs. public school and finally, college. And perhaps we’ve even considered returning to school ourselves to finish up a degree we never quite completed or to achieve a higher degree. What we all can agree on is that the institution where we get our education is an important factor when it comes to the success of our experience. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right place to get your education, for your children and for you, if you choose to go back to school.
Choosing a school for your child
Choosing a college is one of the most important milestones in your child’s life and marks the transition of them moving from childhood to the beginnings of independence. This decision should not be taken lightly! You need to walk a fine line of guiding your child in the selection process while still letting them make their own decision.
“Parents need to work with their child in the college selection process,” explains Stu Osterthun with Southeast Community College. “They need to keep in mind that although they may be paying for college, if their son or daughter isn’t comfortable with the decision, they are more likely not to succeed. Consider these factors:
Location. If school is too far away, there might be a case of homesickness that’s too powerful to overcome, and the son or daughter eventually drops out. But if the child has experienced time away from home such as at camps or trips without parents, the transition to a college far away from home may not be as difficult. Commuting to college while still living at home also can save money in on-campus housing and/or the cost of an apartment.
Program. Be sure the school offers the major or program your son or daughter wants to pursue. True, students will change their mind at least three times before they settle on a major, but most schools won’t make a student’s list if it doesn’t offer the program in which they are interested. However, there is no shame in taking a year or two to decide upon an area of study. Many students enter college with no idea what they want to do for a living. College is all about exploring and finding out who you are and what you want to do the rest of your life. If more students took time to really explore their area of interest, they would endure a lot fewer headaches of changing majors and spend less money in the long run.
Cost. Some schools would lead you to believe that you get what you pay for, and that if it doesn’t cost much to attend, then the school must not be very good. That simply isn’t true. While baccalaureate and advanced degrees are wonderful goals to have, they simply aren’t for everyone. Employers need people who possess interpersonal communication skills and technical skills. They want critical thinkers who are adept at solving problems. They don’t want to have to spend a lot of time training. Think about that when you’re considering a college.
Support. So the college is close to home, it has my major, and it’s affordable. Great! But what will life be like when I get there? During the campus visit, ask a lot of questions. Is free tutoring provided? Will my son or daughter be assigned an advisor? Who will that person be, a professional advisor or a faculty member? What kind of environment do students experience at the school? What is life like in the residence halls? What clubs and organizations are there to help my child get involved? The list is endless.
Reputation. Employers know which schools graduate students who make the best employees. Talk to staff in the career services and placement offices. Get in touch with some employers who have hired graduates from the program in which your son or daughter is interested. They’ll tell you.
Choosing a program for yourself
“While education can often be expensive, we know that students at each advanced degree make incrementally more than those who only have a high school education,” explains Thad Warren with Concordia University. “It also better prepares them for their current work situation allowing for advancement or even career change. At Concordia, we emphasize that it better prepares them to serve those around them both in their personal and professional lives: living lives of service and contributing for the greater good while bettering their own position.”
“Many adults are terrified of going back to school,” points out Stu Osterthun. “How will I relate to students half my age or younger? School has changed so much since I graduated from high school, how will I ever keep up with the material being taught? Adults who choose to return to school are usually driven. They have a good idea what they want the next phase of their life to look like. If it’s a particular skill or trade you want to acquire and learn, community colleges and vocational-technical schools are excellent choices. Most programs can be completed in 18-24 months, the cost is lower than four-year schools, and these schools are experienced in dealing with adult learners. They understand the anxiety that comes with returning to school. They’re much better equipped to handle situations that can arise. Conduct some online research, then schedule a visit with an admissions representative and someone in the program in which you’re interested. Talk to faculty, meet current students, see the laboratory space in which you’ll be using. You have to be comfortable with the people and environment in order for it to work.”
“Probably the biggest challenge tends to be adapting to a new routine of taking class while maintaining the other facets of a normal life,” continues Stu. “Finding balance in work, school and home is critical. We offer very convenient delivery options, personal caring faculty who understand the demands of the adult learners, and an incredible commitment from our institution to serve the needs of adult learners. This allow us to adapt to the sometimes changing environment of adult education and the ability to meet the needs of students is what drives our decisions.”
“Concordia offers for adult learners a vast array of offerings,” Thad Warren says. “At the BS level in degree completion we have degrees in Business and professional studies with multiple emphasis areas that can be customized for the needs of the learner in their particular workplace. In January we are kicking off our first offerings in a RN to BSN program.
At the masters level we offer degrees in almost every area of the education field. We also have a degrees is Business (MBA) Family Life, Human services, Gerontology, and Public Health. Our offerings are always expanding.
Many of our programs are offered in multiple formats. We have program offerings in face to face, Online and hybrid formats. Many of our programs are offered in more than one format.”
“Southeast Community College is a great fit for many people for so many reasons,” adds Stu. “With 50 programs, SCC offers variety. Reputation. SCC has an outstanding reputation for graduating students who possess a level of skill that employers want. The annual placement/continuing education rate of more than 90 percent proves that employers look to hire SCC graduates. In most program cases there are far more job opportunities than there are graduates available. SCC can’t supply all of the demand that is out there. And an obvious reason is cost. SCC and most community colleges are about one-third the cost of four-year public colleges and universities. These are all win-win situations for students, their parents and adult learners. Why wouldn’t you send your son or daughter to a school known for graduating students with the skills necessary to compete in today’s workforce? Why be saddled with twice the debt when you can attend SCC for a fraction of the cost? And for adult learners, SCC presents a welcoming environment. We embrace adult learners. We understand their value and that traditional-age students can learn something from them.
SCC isn’t for everyone. We realize that. We don’t have a football team. We don’t have Greek life. We don’t have a lot of things other schools possess. But if a high-quality education at an affordable price is attractive to you, coupled with the fact that more than nine out of every 10 SCC graduates finds work or continues their education, then it will be worth your time to at least check out all that SCC has to offer.”
Don’t deprive your child or yourself of the quality education you deserve to help you create the future you want for yourself. The key is knowing that each college out there is different and what won’t be right for someone else could very well be right for you or your son or daughter. Do your research, know what you’re looking for, and reach out to those schools that can provide you with the programs and the support you need.
|05/27 - 12:00 am||
VictoryQuest 2nd Annual Quest for the Vets 5k Obstacle Course Run
Lincoln, Lincoln NE
|05/27 - 1:00 pm||
Victory Quest Announces ‘Quest For The Vets’ 5k Challenge Event
Camp Gargano, Lincoln NE
|05/29 - 11:30 am||
City Impact Homes LLC – Grand Opening
Strictly Business Magazine connects you and your brand to the people and businesses with Buying Power. The Power of who you know and who knows you. Connecting you to our readers, our clients and our associates. Connecting you to people interested in who you are, your story and what you can do for them. Connecting you to the very people who want, need and can afford what you sell. Through print, the web, events and one to one relationships Strictly Business connects you to the Buying Power. Get connected today just click here.