Five Essential Elements That Should Be in Every Adult Student’s Tool Kit

Five Essential Elements That Should Be in Every Adult Student’s Tool Kit
Beth Dumbauld

By Western International University

The face of the average college student is changing, with more working adults heading back to school to complete degrees and enhance their careers. Being an adult learner means bringing life experience to the table, but it also means juggling more responsibilities alongside coursework – including working, managing a home and family commitments.

That’s why there are five essential elements that every adult learner should have in their arsenal of tools to support educational and college success:

1 - Technology

Whether you’re attending class on campus or obtaining an education through online study, the right technology can help streamline the learning process. In addition to a quality computer and mobile device, it’s smart to brush up on the basic software programs you’ll use regularly in class. Online tutorials and free classes at your local library help ensure that your technical skills are ready when class starts.

2 - Tutor

Some classes will require more effort than others, and having a tutor at your disposal can make a big difference in keeping up with more difficult curriculums. “Hiring an independent tutor can be expensive, so be sure to research colleges that offer tutoring services at no extra cost,” says Tracy Lorenz, president of StraighterLine partner Western International University. “At West we provide students with complimentary, one-to-one interactive tutoring sessions. These are available online in real-time, 24/7 – which is particularly important to adult learners.”

3 - Time-management tools

Adult learners must divide their time between many different demands. To cut the chaos, research smart time-management tools that can keep you organized every day. Apps and online calendars are ideal and many times can be synced with the schedules of other family members, so everyone knows the tasks for the day and you don’t risk missing a project deadline or your child’s soccer game.

4 - Writing resources

No matter what field of study you decide to pursue, you will be doing a lot of writing to complete your college degree. Having papers reviewed prior to submitting them can help reduce errors and improve grades. For example, the West Writing Center offers current West students tools for success with their writing. Resources are provided to assist with organization, structure, style, grammar, and formatting guidelines for citations and references. In addition, students can have their papers reviewed during an interactive tutoring session and receive immediate feedback prior to turning in the assignment. 

5 - Support system

Being a working adult who is also a student can be complex, which is why having a support system in place can make a big difference. It’s important to have family and friends who are encouraging and available to lend a helpful hand – whether that means picking up the kids from school, helping you brainstorm ideas for an upcoming paper or simply offering to listen. Having a solid support system is the last essential component that should be in every adult student’s toolkit. 

“Higher education is evolving and more adults are working while attending college,” says Lorenz. “With desire, dedication and the right resources, getting a degree and career-relevant skills can be a fulfilling process that helps boost career and personal fulfillment in the future.”

For over 35 years, Western International University® (West)—a university built for working adults—has provided degree programs focused on real-world skills, taught by faculty who also work in their field of study. Pursuing a degree must be manageable for today’s exceedingly busy lifestyles. Our model allows flexibility in scheduling your weekly coursework and delivers a quality education in today’s fastest growing fields, for almost half the cost of many other universities. Bringing together “affordable” and “education”—two words not usually seen in the same sentence—is our commitment.


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2 thoughts on “Five Essential Elements That Should Be in Every Adult Student’s Tool Kit”

  • BJ

    March 12, 2015

    Dear Straighter-line:

    I have ask for information about your institution before, but I am still not sure how dependable your education process is or how long you have been functioning a distance learning educator. For, I just finished from a Technical College and still have not found a job. How do I know that if I am excepted by you I will still have the same problem once I complete my courses for you. Amen!

    • Beth Dumbauld

      We provide an affordable pathway to a four-year degree. Having your four-year degree could help you better get a job in the future! Also, four year degree holders have a history of higher average employment rates and higher average wages than those without a degree.

      Our low-cost online courses are guaranteed to save you money on your degree from schools in our network of nearly 100 accredited colleges. We recommend that you talk with one of our enrollment counselors directly to get personalized information about our partner colleges, online college courses, and student success: (877) 950-7983

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