When it comes to learning, there’s no right way and no wrong way. Instead, there are Multiple Intelligences (a theory proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983). Multiple Intelligences refers to the different ways in which people learn. The seven methods are: Visual, Verbal, Logical, Bodily, Musical, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal. Of course everyone learns using a variety of these intelligences, but the theory just goes to show that sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture isn’t effective for all students. Students who prefer an alternative education environment are referred to as nontraditional learners – and there are hundreds of thousands of nontraditional learners around the country. When it comes to choosing a college, nontraditional students will do themselves a favor if they take the time to explore a wide range of options and find a school that caters to their particular learning preferences. Here’s what nontraditional prospective students should consider when checking out potential colleges.
It’s predicted that 5%-18% of children suffer from anxiety. While the causes of anxiety vary widely, many students feel intimated by grades and test in school, causing them undue stress. Some nontraditional students might do better at a college without the traditional A-F grading system. Grades are instead pass/fail reducing the stress over each assignment and allowing students to focus on their overall course experience and success.
For students who struggle with the thought of picking just one major and one career path for life, a nontraditional college offering interdisciplinary study options might be a better choice. A variety of colleges these days allow students to just a pick a “focus” to their studies and tailor their class schedule according to their preferences – not a college course catalog.
Nontraditional students who don’t want to be tied down to the same college for an entire four years of studying because they feel like they learn more about life and themselves while on the move should look into a college that has multiple campuses, a strong emphasis on international study abroad programs, and more.
Practical Work Experience
People who prefer learning by doing should find a college that emphasizes real-world experience through internships, mentorships with professionals, and more. While vocational schools are ideal for some, nontraditional students looking to blend academia with work experience will be able to find the right college for them with just a bit of searching.
Below is a ranking of the top colleges for nontraditional learners. The methodology used to determine this ranking was based on both statistics and the opinions of experts in the industry. Additionally, surveys were sent to students to determine their level of satisfaction with their education as non-traditional learners.