Adult Students – How to Get Started
We recognize that you are thinking about a major change in your life. Going to college for the first time, or returning after an absence of a number of years can be scary. When an adult returns to college, or enters college for the first time, there are so many questions, concerns, and perhaps fears that the student has. “Can I keep up with other students?” “Can I really do this at my age?” “How can I do this when I’ve forgotten how to study or read a textbook or write a paper?” “What do I do about MATH?” “How do I balance family, work and school?” “How will I pay for this?”
This is only a small sample of the questions we have been asked. They are very important to the person asking them and we respect the feelings behind these concerns. However, we have the experience and resources to help answer those questions and to give you the tools to answer them for yourself. It may seem daunting at times, but we will be there to provide the support you need.
We recognize that our students bring a wide range of previous academic and life experiences to the classroom. Not only do adults use these experiences to make sense of the content of their courses, but also they often look for immediate personal and practical applicability of the academic information to their lives. The faculty who teach our courses understand this.
One of the major ways we support adults coming to the college classroom for the first time is through our BIS 100 – Pro Seminar course. This course is designed to help adults make the transition to the role of college student. This course is an introduction to college and to skills you can develop that will enhance your academic journey. In addition, a major focus in this course is to provide you with opportunities to develop and/or to refine a number of academic skills you will need to be successful. These skills include: critical thinking, reading and writing, listening, observing, questioning and speaking.
The Pro-Seminar is limited to 16 students and opens the door to the University by helping returning students adjust to academic life. You will work with faculty members who have years of experience working with adult students and who care about your success. At the completion of this course, you will have the skills and confidence to pursue your interests through other courses and programs at the University.
Another course new students take is a one-credit, online course that introduces you to the traditions of higher education and its academic culture, and to skills you can develop that will enhance your academic journey. You will be able to identify the significant issues that play a role in your deciding to become a student at this stage of your life. You will also learn to use other students as valuable resources, as helpful critics, as fellow members of study groups and as sources of support. Above all, we hope you will have fun and become confident in your abilities to succeed!
The first step is the hardest – come in to see one of our advisors
who will sit with you, listen to your dreams, and talk to you about
ways of achieving those dreams. The advisor will suggest a plan
of study for your first semester and will guide you through all the
steps necessary to get you started on your academic journey.
Questions Adults Frequently Ask
We know adult students have many questions about going back to school. We have tried to answer the questions that are raised most frequently. If we haven’t answered your question below, please contact us to talk to an advisor (at 277-5160) about your specific concerns.
“I really would like to go back to school, but…
- “…I’m too old”
Students returning to school range in age from 22 to 75+.
- “…My mind’s a bit rusty.”
There are introductory courses (BIS 100 and URI 101B) for the returning students. These courses will build self-confidence, sharpen your academic skills, and familiarize you with college life. In addition, there are many academic skills workshops, tutors and other services to help returning adult students develop their academic skills.
- “…I only have a GED.”
Students with GED’s are accepted.
- “…I have never taken the SAT’s”
SAT exams are not required.
- “…I have some old college
There is an excellent chance that your transfer credits will be accepted.
- “…I have a job…a family.”
Our programs have been especially set up to suit the needs of adult students with other obligations.
- “…I am scared to death of math…I’ve
forgotten it all.”
There are refresher courses for students who need extra help with math. Free tutoring is available in math as well as computers, writing and a number of other subjects.
- “…I work days.” “…I
There are evening and daytime classes as well as classes on Saturday and online.
- “…I have a transportation
The Feinstein Providence Campus can be reached easily by public transportation. For those with cars, there is free parking in the Providence Convention Center parking garage and the Garraghy Judicial Complex. A shuttle bus runs in the evening to take students to the parking lots.
- “…I’m not sure I can
Federal, state and university financial aid programs are available. Contact the financial aid office in Shepard Building, Room 125 (401-277-5000).
- “…I don’t have a babysitter.”
Day care may be available in our Child Development Center. There are also a number of child care facilities within a reasonable distance to the Feinstein Providence Campus.
- “…I have a disability.”
The Feinstein Providence Campus is accessible throughout to persons with disabilities. We have a number of services in the Academic Skills Center to support learners with disabilities.
If you are an adult student with some previous college credits, come in and talk to us about how your credits might apply to one of our degree programs. We accept many “old” credits, as well as credit earned through CLEP exams, prior learning assessments, and military basic training. Your first step would be talk to an advisor. You can bring in an official transcript at that time or an unofficial one so you and the advisor can discuss how your credits might fit with your academic goals. You will have your official transcripts formally evaluated at the time of admission but you can meet with an advisor prior to applying in order to start planning your program of study. Once you are admitted as a degree candidate, your transfer credit will be posted to your transcript.
If you have credit from another college, ask that college to send an official transcript to us, addressed to the Office of Admissions and Advising, Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education, 80 Washington St., Providence, RI 02903.