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Non-traditional Students: About This Guide

Non-traditional students are known as adult students, adult learners, lifelong learners, or older students



Welcome to the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library!

Come in and see what we can do for you, or take our virtual tour first.

This guide is designed to (1) help you navigate the library website to find books, articles, and other library resources, and (2) to be a guide to various non-library resources useful during your time here at Norfolk State University.

Sometimes there is a LibGuide specific to your class.  These guides will help you find suggested databases and other resources to use.  Please check the LibGuides homepage.

Identifying the Non-traditional Student?

Past research has indicated that different students learn differently. If we could identify into which group(s) students were more closely aligned, then we could help students learn more effectively. One such classification has been whether students were considered to be traditional or nontraditional, where traditional students were frequently considered to be those less than 24 years of age, and nontraditional students were frequently considered to be those 24 years of age or older.

Non-traditional students are not your 18-year-old high-school graduates heading off to college. We're talking about adults who decided to go back to school after the traditional college age of 18-24. We're even talking about Baby Boomers who are now in their 50s, 60s, and 70s!  Non-traditional students are also known as adult students, adult learners, lifelong learners, or older students.


Criteria for a non-traditional student

If you meet all of the criteria listed below, you will be considered a non-traditional student:

18-22 year-old individuals who are raising children with or without a partner

Have been out of high school at least five years or whose high school class graduated at least five years ago.

Hold a high school diploma from an accredited high school as specified under Section 1120.30 or have satisfactorily completed the GED.

Have earned fewer than 30 transferable semester (45 transferable quarter) credit hours.

Have never previously attended an undergraduate program

Any age person who is taking care of family members who are elderly, significantly ill, and/or have a disability

Students who are working full-time and attending NSU full-time