Learning never stops. Dreams never cease. Being a 60 year old college student has its advantages. This is why I chose to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Business in this season of life. Keep in mind, this is not for everyone, but the opportunity and challenge are there if you choose to accept it. I am treated no differently than my younger cohorts. In fact, I feel a sense of leadership and mentorship in my classes because of my age and life experience which I freely share in my class discussions and papers. Foote (2015) points out the characteristics of adult learners are: “need to know, prior learning experience, readiness to learn, and motivation to learn” (p. 85). Adult Learning has given me a new sense of identity and has helped me to use my past learning experiences as well.
Being an Adult Student simply means:
- Determination. I chose to return to college because I am determined to finish what I started over 40 years ago.
- Better Focus. I am focused and completely dedicated to my studies more so now, than I was then. I do not take grades for granted because I work hard for every point. The Adult and Professional Studies program at Indiana Wesleyan University is competitive and challenging. This is no diploma mill. The learning experience is maximized to the fullest.
- My Choice. I am a student because I want to be, not because I am expected to be. I am not out to impress anyone. I am doing this for me (and paying out of my pocket for it too). I am ready and eager to learn.
- Utility: My degree is being put to use in the real world even before receiving it, through improved self-confidence, intellectual interaction, communication skills, critical thinking and emotional intelligence.
- Tenacity: Jumping in and doing what you have to do to complete the class assignments, in addition to keeping business operational, and tending to family’s needs. It is leaping out of your comfort zone. However, I am still motivated to get the most out of this experience and achieve the best grades I can.
I am not doing this to get a “better” job, but to improve upon what I am doing now. As a small business owner, life-long learning is part of the responsibility and accountability to your stakeholders. I am four classes from being a college graduate. A Master’s program is not out of the question either. Friends, if you ever had the desire to return to school to finish what you started, go for it. It is never too late.
Foote, L. S. (2015). Transformational Learning: Reflections of an Adult Learning Story. Adult Learning, 26(4), 84-86. doi:10.1177/1045159515573017
About the Author: Adele S. Busch is the Owner/President of ASB Business Services, LLC. “Business By Personal Invitation”. ASB offers customized and selective telephone outreach for businesses and professionals, specializing in Sales and Business Appointment calls, Meeting Reminder Calls, Customer Follow-Up Calls and Business Research. Adele can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 614-477-2961. To learn more about the IWU College of Adult and Professional Studies, visit https://www.indwes.edu/academics/caps/