Non-traditional students continue their dreams

By: Colie Touzel

Staff Writer

Sometimes life gets in the way of one’s goals, or sometimes, there are simply those “students for life” who can’t get enough degrees. These paths often default in becoming a non-traditional student. To be considered a non-traditional student, one must be any of the following: 25 years of age or older, married or have children, veterans, working full-time and attending college, or previous university or college graduates returning to USC Upstate. Non-traditional students have many different experiences under their belt that lead them to where they are today.

Student Life recognizes non-traditional students by providing services to guide and assist the diverse group of Upstate’s non-traditional population. Some of these services include a handbook specifically for non-traditional students, faculty and staff advocates, resources both on and off campus, and monthly social luncheon gatherings. Furthermore, students have recently come together to create the Non-Traditional Student Assembly (NTSA), a new organization to equip non-traditional students with more resources and continued recognition and support. NTSA’s student president, Allison Johnson, recites the mission of NTSA as an organization “to encourage and coordinate support, education, and advocacy for the adult learner.” Johnson says, “we strive to provide the non-traditional student with a sense of belonging and a place to share ideas and resources in an environment of camaraderie.”

Moreover, the Sigma Chi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda is the national non-traditional student honor society that celebrates the scholarship and leadership of adult students. In 2005, Upstate chartered Alpha Sigma Lambda on campus to help promote the advancement of scholarship and recognition of non-traditional students in higher education. On April 20th, a formal ceremony will recognize the top 10% of this year’s graduating class of non-traditional students and their acceptance into Alpha Sigma Lambda.

To conclude the 2016-2017 academic year with a bang, NTSA is holding a festivity called “Family Day” to honor all USC Upstate non-traditional students and their families. On Saturday, April 8th from 11-2, the NTSA will provide bounce houses, balloons, face painting, a petting zoo, games and prizes, as well as a DJ, catering, career and resume-building and health screening booths. Don’t miss out on NTSA’s first major event in front of the CLC. For more information on NTSA or non-traditional student services, contact NTSA president Allison Johnson, or the Assistant Director for Multicultural Programs and Non-Traditional Student Services, Doug Peters.