The Adult Learner Resource Center on the University of North Georgia's Gainesville Campus supports adult students as they strive toward degrees while maintaining many responsibilities that younger students do not have. Brenda Adams, coordinator for Student Life and Services for Adult Learners, talks about the center and how it is enabling and guiding adult learners.
How does the center support adult students?
Recognizing that adult learners face many challenges that most traditional do not have, the Adult Learner Resource Center was created to better serve this group by providing a quiet space to study and focus on their classes. They can study individually or in groups, have use of several computers and a printer, library resources geared toward their needs and requests, and assistance from a math tutor. Office equipment and supplies are provided for their use as well. To assist with specific needs and challenges, a variety of resources are provided including information on topics such as study skills, setting goals, how to be successful students, CLEP and MCAT preparation, health, fitness, parenting and family concerns, retirement, finances, career choices, organization skills, time management, marriage/divorce, and computer program tips.
Overall, the center is a haven conducive for quiet concentration and focus before they re-enter the classroom, workplace and home. Approximately 30 percent of our student population on the Gainesville Campus is represented by adult learners—students who are 23 years or older—which is bolstered by accessibility to Interstate 985 and the area workforce from industry.
How is the support tailored to meet the needs of the students?
Adult students are encouraged to help us meet their needs by suggesting ideas for this space. For example, there was a need for large group study, but small and individual areas were also requested. We met this challenge by replacing a large meeting room table with tables and chairs that could be configured in different patterns.
During our open houses, our Advising Center sends representatives to assist them with online registration and with problems they may have encountered in the registration process as new students. It is also an opportunity for them to let us know what other resources we can provide. Our assessment shows that approximately 100 students per week have used the center this year in September and October.
What are some other outlets or support systems for adult learners who can't attend the center?
The Second Wind Club for adult learners provides a support group that addresses areas that adults ask for more information about on our campus. This group meets every other Wednesday at noon and is developing programming for speakers on time management, study skills, information about new technology to help with note taking, stress management, memory tips, and a faculty speaker to tell their story as an adult learner.
The Adult Learner Resource Center also supplies information about the following resources on campus:
- Advising Center: http://ung.edu/academic-advising/index
- Career Services: http://ung.edu/career-services/
- Student Counseling Services: http://ung.edu/student-counseling/
- The ACTT Center and Tutoring Services: http://ung.edu/tutoring-services/gainesville-campus-services.php
- Center for Adult Learners and Military: http://ung.edu/news/articles/2013/06/adult-learning-at-ung.php
- Hosch Library: http://ung.edu/libraries/index.php
- Testing Center: http://ung.edu/testing/
- Fitness Center: http://ung.edu/recreational-sports/gainesville/facilities/indoor/fitness-center.php