"Post-traditional students" was a term I heard used a lot by prominent speakers at the recent national meeting of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. I can relate to being a post-traditional student--even now, as I keep learning and learning. Perhaps you can, too. It is a description that also fits our current students very well.
They--we--are looking to learn in new ways, use new media, pursue studies that lie at the intersection of two or more traditional fields, and continue learning at any and every time of life. It is a time that calls for innovation in higher education, and we at the College of Continuing Education try to be right there at the forefront. Most of the innovation we are pursuing is aimed at opening doors of opportunity for motivated and aspiring students of all ages.
This spring, 320 students are graduating from our College, many having completed an interdisciplinary or applied bachelor's degree started years before, others adding a certificate or professional master's degree to their resume. We are very proud of them. The inspiring stories of several of our alumni along with our current students are spotlighted in this issue.
Many had doors opened thanks to our generous donors. All told, this year, 124 students earned CCE scholarships, nearly half of whom were the first in their families to attend college. In a short time, those students will follow in the footsteps of the graduates crossing the stage this spring to receive their diplomas and let their aspirations take flight.
In this issue you can read about visionary new scholarships established by organizations in the construction industry in order to open doors of opportunity for students drawn to this important industry.
Post-traditional students and lofty aspirations meet educational innovations and open doors. It's an intersection that makes a real difference for individuals, families, communities, and our society. I hope you enjoy reading the inspiring accounts.
With warm regards,
Dr. Mary L. Nichols
Dean, College of Continuing Education
University of Minnesota