Morgan State launches college for returning adult learners / Public News Service
Colleges and universities have had to rethink higher education during the pandemic and make the learning experience more flexible. A new program at Morgan State University focuses on degrees for adult learners returning to school.
Its College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies offers non-traditional students, returning students, working adults, and others the opportunity to complete a degree, drawing in part on their own knowledge and professional experience. Nicholas Vaught, acting assistant dean of academics and student success at Morgan State, said they could be transfer students or former students who attended anywhere from two to 40 years ago.
“I think one of the things that’s going to push students into the programs is not just the ease of enrollment,” he said, “but, ‘Do I have someone to talk to at college? Do I have an advisor who knows me? I think that’s going to really set us apart.”
Vaught said students can transfer up to 90 credits toward their degree and can take classes on campus or online. The college launched its first cohort last spring with a dozen students. For the fall semester, Vaught said they are on track to admit about 200.
A Gallup and Lumina Foundation report found that about a third of undergraduate students have recently considered “quitting” school due to personal difficulties. Vaught said interdisciplinary programs have broader requirements, which can help make a degree more accessible.
“These are people who work full time, sometimes with young children or adult children,” he said. “We can work with the students like, ‘Hey, I can only take two classes at a time, because I know how long it’s going to take. But I’m going to find a course that will allow me to keep moving efficiently but without being overloaded.'”
Morgan State’s interdisciplinary program offers eight undergraduate degrees in subjects including engineering, information and computational sciences, health, and human services. It also offers five master’s programs and five doctoral programs. Vaught added that the in-state tuition rate will apply to all college students, regardless of residency status.
Support for this report was provided by Lumina Foundation.
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