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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/news/read/?id=old-1327615628&paper=topstories

Panel gives voice to nontraditional students

Plenty of support for nontraditional students on, off campus.

2012-01-26
By Amanda Dyslin, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 1/26/2012]

Nontraditional students face all kinds of challenges when they start school at Minnesota State Mankato.

There’s the issue of finding groups to fit in with, or at least that’s what 16-year-old Chelsea Hullerman struggled with when beginning as a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options student (shared credits between high school and college). There’s the commute for some, as well as facing the daunting challenge of college algebra after having no math classes for years, which was Linda Skogen’s experience.

And there’s also the issue of having no formal orientation to the college, leaving some nontrads wondering where to find what they need on campus.

There are plenty of positives, however, as Hullerman, Skogen and thousands of other nontraditional students discover each semester at Minnesota State Mankato. And part of the Nontraditional Student Center’s mission on campus is to help nontrads discover those positives early in their college careers.

The center sponsored a Nontraditional Student Panel Wednesday afternoon in Ostrander Auditorium, where members of the campus community gathered to listen to nontraditional students talk about the joys and challenges of nontrad life on campus.

Nontrads are students who are parents; married, divorced or widowed; an undergrad over the age of 24; those who didn’t attend college immediately after graduating high school; a veteran; or those whose commutes to school are longer than 15 minutes.

Ashley Strom, assistant director for nontraditional students and registered student organizations, said about a third of Minnesota State Mankato's students are nontrads. That’s between 4,000 and 5,000 students.

For the complete Free Press story, see Thursday's print edition, or go to the e-edition at http://mankatofreepress.mn.newsmemory.com/.

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