Support for Non-traditional Students

After reviewing Ackell's stages of institutional integration, I have researched schools that fall into each of the three stages. As it is pointed out in this this week's lecture powerpoint presentation, the demographics of college students are changing. That said, it is important that colleges and universities create programs, activities and services that cater to these specific students.

Stage 1 of Ackell's stages of integration, illustrates schools that have not incorporated any form of supportive and/operational services for commuter and part-time students. Unfortunately, there are institutions that are lacking in this area. As mentioned previously, the non-traditional student population is increasing. It is vital for schools to create unique ways to support this particular demographic of students. Supporting these students will ultimately result in better retention rates for this population.

Stage 2, is described as an institution that has implemented some services, programs and activities but these programs are held separate from the traditional students' services. I think this stage is suitable for smaller institutions that do not have a huge commuter and part-time student presence. At least there are some services to support the non-traditional population. For example, a non-traditional student mentor program, specialized orientations, ans special events.

The stage 3 is described as "Equality." Larger institutions like NYU have just as many programs, services, and activities to serve their non-traditional students, as they do their tradition students.Obviously, the bigger the institution the bigger the populations and sub-populations will be. I think that when it comes to larger institutions, it is harder to hold specialized program, which makes equality a necessity.

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