Jewish News Back-to-School Supplement
Students mix with faculty during an informal lunch.
being in a situation — the returning students and their
academic setting — where_ families.
hard work led to immediate,
I coordinated 45 people
tangible success — good who interviewed 100 reentry
students across the country,
The dreaded child care along with their children,
turned out to be a special husbands or companions.
fringe benefit of my reentry Armed with a year's worth of
experience. Rebekah learned research and the increased
at the toddler center about self-confidence I mentioned
whales and dinosaurs and all earlier, I approached the
sorts of subjects but also- book publisher E.P. Dutton
about making friends and about the idea.
how exciting school could be.
They agreed. Three days
Nowadays, one out of ev- after I graduated, I started
ery three college students in writing what became my
the U.S. is over the age of 25. • book, Happier By Degrees,
A women reentering college published in 1980, a resource
will not feel alone on campus. and support book for women
I made lots of friends, not who are thinking about re-
only women my own age but turning to school.
younger students, faculty - Since then, I have held a
members and administrative variety of interesting jobs. I
started a reentry program at
Moreover, several dis- the College of the Redwoods
counts and freebies were in Eureka, coordinated
available to me'as a student. marking efforts and de-
Somehow, reentry students veloped programing for the
tend not to think of them- Office of Continuing Educa-
selves as being eligible for tion at Humboldt State Uni-
student discounts on plays, versity, and helped to create
movies, sports events, travel an adoption agency that
packages and more. It took a works specifically to place
year before I realized I could children with special needs.
use the student health cen-
Now, at age 39 and remar-
ter. Families of returning ried, I have achieved a ba-
students are always delight- lance of work and family that
ed with the fringe benefits feels comfortable. Crossroads
Mom can produce with her are still everywhere but, in-
stead of feeling like barriers,
During the second year of they appear to be options.
my master's program, I com-
There's an old saying that
bined class work with re- makes me smile: "You have
search for my master's pro- to take life as it happens, but
gram, I combined class work you should try to make it
with research for my mas- happen the way you want to
ter's project. The project ex- take it." Going back to school
amined both the poSitive and if W:ef at s'AY t4
OtilteNifredA br return* toils to help make
tq steak, wii.Pertehed by the ,
Happier By Degrees
A College Re-entry Guide
Editor's note: In 1980, New older female students. The
If there is a women's center
York publisher EP. Dutton private colleges have been a in your town, it will be able to
bit slower, but things are direct you to the on-campus
Mendelsohn's book, "Happier changing there, too.
office that is most involved
By Degrees". Based on her
For example, at California with returning students.
own experiences in returning State University in Sac- Asking the first older-looking
to school after several years, ramento, the aims of student you see on campus
Ms. Mendelsohn ranged
P.A.S.A.R. (Programs for should also get you immedi-
from the personal –
Adult Students' Admission ate results.
a4justment in family life – and Reentry) include the fol-
What kinds of specific ser-
to the practical – how, to pick io •
vices do reentry offices Offer to
a college, how to get
stablish an under- help facilitate this kind of
financial aid. The following
of and confidence in growth•rocess for you? Even
chapter details services now yourself,
unique abili- if the reentry "office" consists
available on campuses for
; and interests
of only one receptive person
reentry students. The chapter
• Gain new information to who does not have reentry as
has been excerpted with Ms. provide greater options re- his or her only responsibility,
garding education and em- some of the following oncam-
pus services may be available
• Reenter . . . with a mini- to you.
As recently as 1971,
according to a survey by the mum of difficulty
• Learn new skills and up-
Women's Bureau of the U.S.
Department of Labor, 376 col- date others
If these aims sound at all
eges and universities offered
special centers for women relevant to you, and you de-
Individual counseling may
who were reentering the edu- cide to track down an office be available on a drop-in
cational process. This was an involved with reentry stu- basis, or by appointment, or
80 percent increase since dents, remember that it may both. Group-counseling and
1968 — though it still meant be housed under a completely "rap" sessions are often part
that only about one in five different name from the one of the program.
campuses had such facilities. you are expecting. Try Reen-
Informal group discussions
Thanks, to the rapid increase try, Continuing Education, at lunchtime have become
in the number, of older stu- Adult Services, Special Stu- popular at some colleges.
dents, all this has changed . dent Services, The Women's Even if there isn't a center for
dramatically. • Center, or any combination of reentering students, the cam-
Today there is hardly: a letters you see that look pus counseling office will
public- eollege lop •university
I:41 301 W* resKinigibilitY
tlt , ,dtif0, not 'AZ at , least' E CORE,
WIN, ' ACE, ' 1 foil* organizang "brown bag"
'some degree of support for • ABLE, WREP.
ift.oupror, rap modals!
The staff at a reentry office
should be able to provide you
with answers to all major.
questions about registration,
academic programs, financial
aid, career development, and "
child care, or they will direct.
you to the person who can.
Some reentry offices are
working toward having the
tion/fmancial aid process all
happen in their own office.
Even if this is not the case at
schools near you, being refer-
red to the right person oifthe
first try will be very reassur-
ing to you.
Since policies concerning •
returning students are
changing so rapidly, informa-
tion that you find in the cur-
rent catalog may already be
obsolete. Check with the
reentry office about anything
major — a campus child-care
center may be about to open,
CLEP (college credit for life.
experience) tests may not he
, see if there is an edu-
cational brokerage agency in
your area. Educational brok-
ers can serve as the important'
go-between for adultlearnettl