» By TRENT SINGER – tsinger@my.apsu.edu

There is one common message among each nontraditional college student. “It’s never too late,” said Marian Perron, a part-time nontraditional student and full-time employee at APSU.

Perron is a personnel assistant in Human Resources and vice president of the Non-Traditional Student Society. Perron said she has not faced any particular hardships as a nontraditional student

“Fortunately for me, because I have that rich tradition in my family, I’ve never felt out of place,” Perron said.

Perron’s story entails a family tradition of nontraditional students. In 1927, at age 14, Perron’s mother had to drop out of high school to stay at home and care for her ill mother.

“She always felt like she was inferior to the rest of the family because she was the only one without a high school education,” Perron said.

At 68, Perron’s mother received her GED and went on to graduate from SUNY Cobleskill. She was the oldest matriculated student at that time. However, the family tradition didn’t end there.

“This past spring, my uncle, who is her brother, graduated from Keene State with his bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology at the age of 94,” Perron said.

As a former New York City police officer and World War II pilot, Perron’s uncle chose to pursue a college education almost 20 years after the average U.S. male expectancy age.

“He had the opportunity to go to school and learn. It’s just the focus on learning and not being content and continually learning,” Perron said.

Following graduation, Perron’s uncle informed her that he now plans to pursue his master’s degree.

Perron thinks highly of being a nontraditional student at APSU. “My experience here has been fabulous. First, because I’m an employee, so I have that aspect of life and co-working at APSU. Plus, my experience as a student has been very good,” Perron said.

Perron is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies. She has attended APSU for a year now.

As an active nontraditional student, she hopes her story might inspire some of those who have always wanted to pursue college, but have never taken the opportunity to further their education.

“As a nontraditional student, we enrich the classes because of our experiences and what we can bring in that students who are younger don’t yet have,” Perron said. TAS