Help available for non-traditional college students

4/8/2011 7:00:00 AM

Between a technologically advancing society, a poor economy and numerous other factors, many people beyond recent high school graduates are looking for a college education. But because of their status as non-traditional students, many are faced with difficulty in pursuing that education.

Marcia Cooper, a therapist at the University of Nevada, Reno Counseling Services, recognized the difficulty and formed the Non-Traditional Student Support Group. The group is designed around common concerns and, in confidential sessions, encourages students to discuss whatever is important to them to help them feel happy, confident and successful.

"This is a group in which I hope will fill a void," Cooper said. "It's important for the students because it helps them to realize there are others sharing their struggles and that they can get through this time and situation in life. It's also an important and valuable service for the University because the non-traditional population is growing. Addressing the needs of the non-traditional group is a win-win for both the University and the students."

The support group is open to any students who are returning to school after an absence, those who served in the military, those who came from a community college, are over 25 years of age or otherwise find themselves not quite the "typical" college student and could benefit from connecting with other students dealing with similar issues.

"We cover a variety of topic areas," Cooper said. "Some of the older, returning students may not know how to work with technology. Some have been away from the learning environment for awhile and they have forgotten how to study or how to take a test. Some students are trying to juggle school, work and family. Some have transferred from a community college and are learning to deal with change. Some are everything in between.

The Non-Traditional Student Support Group meets 4-5 p.m. on Thursdays in the Thompson Building, Room 202.  For more information, contact Marcia Cooper at (775) 682-8850 or marciac@unr.edu.


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