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Choose Education in the New Year!

Posted: January 3, 2020 — Welcome to 2020!  These milestone years tend to be a bit more reflective for individuals.  Perhaps you are looking to change your career.  Or, you are interested in starting your own business and need to identify the steps to get started.  Maybe you walked away from a degree when you were younger and now you are ready to make the leap back into college.  These are all fantastic goals and returning to college as an adult student will help you reach your objectives.

Understandably, returning to college can be a bit intimidating, however here are some facts I ask you to consider.  In New York State, the fastest growing population is between the ages of 25 and 44.  Nationally, this age group makes up about 35% of the college student body.  At FM, the average age of our students is 23 and 79% of them have responsibilities to care for family at home. FM understands and supports many adult learners who are moms or dads, veterans, or individuals who went directly into the workforce after high school. FM values the life experiences adult students bring to their education such as juggling family obligations while working.  Regularly, the adult students at FM demonstrate how this flexible skillset actually prepares them to be very successful upon their return to college.

At FM, we have focused on the adult student experience by creating learning opportunities that are adaptable to fit their needs.  Each semester FM offers courses in various learning formats such as online, FlexMode, on campus evening courses, and traditional face-to-face courses during the day.  Most of these are common ways of learning, but FlexMode is unique to FM. FlexMode courses are a combination of online and on campus courses and some are even offered on Saturday.  In this type of course, students have the ability to flex between the two learning environments. The goal is for students to find the perfect fit that is right for them.

Beyond the traditional learning environment, FM has a variety of support systems to help adult students succeed.  FM faculty are dedicated to the students outside of the classroom walls.  Overwhelmingly, students report that FM’s faculty are available, helpful, and sympathetic.  Similarly, FM’s retention team, advisors, and financial aid offices are consistently identified by students as helpful, considerate, and flexible.  There are other informal support systems at FM also.  The FM library has study space available, as well as librarians who are available to assist with research.  Tutors, a math lab, and a writing lab are also found in the library and offer various services to support student learning.  Fellow adult students have often experienced something you might encounter, which makes them another great resource to help avoid problems or suggest solutions. Essentially, FM is ready to assist with your new goals and to support your learning experience.

It is time to celebrate the beginning of a new decade and to identify the steps to reach your goals.  I encourage you to capitalize on the affordable, high quality, and flexible higher education opportunities right in your community.  FM is here to help you build your capacity for achieving those life goals and we invite you to join FM’s adult student community.    Spring classes start January 22.

This article was written by Dr. Jacqueline Snyder, who serves as FM’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

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