UW-Green Bay officially welcomed a new class of adult students Sept. 15, bringing together learners and their support teams for a day of information and fun.
The second annual Adult Degree Convocation and Family Welcome was a daylong event designed to acquaint adult students with campus — even though many of them won’t be returning anytime soon. This semester, 71 percent of UW-Green Bay’s baccalaureate students age 25 or older — defined as “nontraditional” — are taking at least one distance education course. Fifty-four percent of students in this age group are taking all of their classes online.
“With so many students taking their coursework online, it is important that we build a connection between them and our University,” said Christina Trombley, director of Adult Degree Programs. “They are as much a part of UW-Green Bay as any of our traditional students, and we want to make sure they know that.”
And while many students will rarely, if ever, come to campus in person, officials say it’s important to help them acclimate to returning to school. Many returning adults have been out of the classroom for years, and are balancing a host of academic, family, work and life demands. That’s why UW-Green Bay’s Division of Outreach and Adult Access welcomes family members and friends to its Convocation event — their lives are changed when loved ones head back to school, and they serve as a critical means of support for the returning learners.
“When an adult comes back to school, it affects the whole family,” Trombley said. “Our event helps everyone understand what this journey is while also celebrating his or her decision. Many students talk about their decision to come back so they can set an example for their children. We want to make sure that the children see that and share in the pride of that decision.”
The day’s events included a welcome and tour for students and families, as well as a variety of sessions on topics from personal finance to writing. A panel discussion featuring current and former adult learners and their families offered stories of personal experience, along with tips for the incoming students. About 75 students, family and friends attended the convocation event.
More information about UW-Green Bay’s Adult Degree Program is available at www.uwgb.edu/adultdegrees/.