APSU’s mission statement promises to offer the same opportunities to traditional and nontraditional students, but there are mixed feelings on whether this commitment is being fulfilled.
There is no question that each student will receive the same education, however the experience provided can be extremely different.
“Academically, we have the same access, and our degrees are going to be the same once we walk across the stage. In terms of social and other experiences, it feels some of them are less accommodating towards nontraditional students in terms of access and support,” 37-year-old junior Philosophy and Leadership major William McCole said.
Every space available to post flyers throughout campus is full with information enticing students to attend meetings and events, but the time slots do not take nontraditional students’ schedules into consideration. The opportunities for individuals with more constraints are not as abundant and accessible.
“I believe the resources are there as long as people seek them out,” 29-year-old senior psychology major Derek Tims said.
APSU should not forget its two, significantly smaller satellite locations that are aimed at nontraditional students when promoting special occasions. Everyone should be offered the same experience, no matter the location they choose to attend.
In hopes of repudiating these common complaints, there is one location on campus dedicated to nontraditional students: the Adult and Nontraditional Student Center, or ANTS. As the nontraditional student population continues to grow, the need for more resources does, too.
“Having a place for adult and nontraditional students to meet friends, be comfortable on campus and enjoy a place dedicated to us is a big step towards fixing some of our problems, it just needs to be bigger,” McCole said.
The idea of inclusiveness needs to be on the minds of everyone if we want to continue to be an appealing collegiate option for nontraditional students.
If APSU wants to fulfill their mission and vision, catering to nontraditional students must be of priority. Every single event, meeting or opportunity needs to be created with nontraditional students in mind, just as it is for traditional students.