Originally published: Wyzant| By Michael Horn and Levi Belnap | December, 2018

A college degree is a valuable tool for many seeking to earn higher incomes and build stronger lives. But with an increasing proportion of diverse “post-traditional students” who hail from a far wider range of backgrounds, it’s time for colleges to become more “student-ready.”

Higher education was not designed for this diversity, but rather with the needs of only an elite few in mind, who would arrive well-prepared and stick around for four or more years in a row to earn their degree. Despite an increasing focus on college access and readiness, fewer students fit into this limited mold. An increasing number of undergraduate and graduate students are “non-traditional” or what some call “posttraditional” learners, including working adults learning while earning or returning later for a credential or degree. Helping these learners maximize their college experience benefits not only the students themselves and the institutions that serve them, but also our economy and society.

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