NSHE receives grant to help non-traditional students

NSHE receives grant to help non-traditional students

Las Vegas, Nevada // March 4, 2008 -- The Nevada System of Higher Education was selected this week as one of three states to receive a $65,000 grant to increase adult learners’ access to and success in postsecondary education.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has chosen Nevada, as well as Arkansas and Colorado, to participate in its new project Non-Traditional No More: Policy Solutions for Adult Learners. The two-year project is designed to stimulate and guide policy and practice changes that will make it easier for “ready adults” – those who are just shy of having enough credits to obtain a degree but haven’t yet returned to college – to earn their diplomas.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the thousands of working adults who need that little bump to finish their associate or bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Jane Nichols, NSHE vice chancellor for academic, research and student affairs. “In a national comparison, Nevada leads the nation in the projected percent change (46.4 percent), between now and the year 2020, in occupations requiring college. And yet, at present, among adults aged 25-64, Nevada ranks 46 th in the nation in the percent (29.0 percent) per capita who have earned an associate’s degree or higher and 47 th in the percent (21.3 percent) per capita who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. This grant will allow us to begin to close that gap.”

“Changing demographics and the growing demand for an educated workforce are causing states and postsecondary institutions to broaden their thinking about how to increase degree attainment,” says WICHE President David Longanecker. “This project provides a unique opportunity for them to comprehensively target ready adults and bring them back to college.”

As a first step, Non-traditional No More will help Nevada’s colleges and universities identify their “ready adult” population. Next, the project will assist in creating a navigable path to college success for those adults through a comprehensive focus on academic policies, financial aid and financing, student support services, and communications, including marketing and information sharing designed to reach out to this population. In addition, WICHE will help Nevada create and sustain new policies and practices.

Overall funding for the Non-Traditional No More: Policy Solutions for Adult Learners project is provided by the Lumina Education Foundation.