Non-traditional students are quickly outgrowing their name since their numbers are increasing all across the globe, making them anything but non-traditional. If you are a student, who is older than the average college student (i.e. 18-22 years old) or has intermittently continued your college education, you are generally considered a non-traditional student, and that means relatively that your life is atypical of a younger college student. You might have children, hold a fulltime job, take online or night classes, or all of the above. In any case, you will face challenges unique to your situation, most of which deal with balancing your work and class schedules and/or that of your family to boot.
Public and private educational institutions are making laudable progress is accommodating non-traditional students. That means more online classes, optional early morning and night classes, childcare, etc. Unfortunately the non-traditional student still must face frequent scenarios in which their schedule doesn't permit them to attend classes in the middle of the workday. They don't have a few hours to hang out on campus and wait for their next class. In the instance where they have questions for their professors, the night class might let out as late as 11 pm, in which case, that professor doesn't want to stick around longer than absolutely necessary, and when it comes to online classes, most students, traditional and non-traditional, can both attest to the difficulty it can be at times to get timely responses from their professors about questions. Both are common scenarios that leave non-traditional students at a disadvantage, especially if they need to catch up on missed material. Fortunately, the LP Learning Center helps adults as well as children.
Over the years, we have assisted non-traditional students develop their foreign language skills, prepare for the GRE, review the core subjects, and more. Our tutors are uncommonly flexible, mobile, and experienced. If your schedule is hectic, we can tutor in home, at our center, or online so you don't have to worry about rushing to another location. We are ideal for the non-traditional student, who is strapped for time and money but still needs to master their course material. Don't be confined to emails or brief and rushed moments with your professor directly before or after class. Until the educational institutions perfect their systems for non-traditional students, let us make up the difference for you.
Do private schools guarantee scholastic and professional success for their students? Many believe they do. What about charter schools or Montessori schools for that matter? You can immediately dismiss public schools as far as many people's opinions are concerned. However, most students will obtain their education from the America public school system. The opinions on American schools vary as much as there are people to give them, but one thing is for certain. There is an exception for every rule that an expert might make, and where there is an exception, there is always hope that our students have a chance at success.
This article will only skim the surface of the ocean of data, research, and studies that pertain to the American educational system, but hopefully, it will also whet your appetite for further research so that you broaden your perspective about the education situation in America.
Firstly, it is true that the American test scores in comparison to other developed countries are declining, and our students understanding of math and the sciences is no longer the best as it once was. There are many factors that play crucial roles in these findings. These include but are not limited to: home life, socio-economic association, parental involvement, classroom climate, teacher quality, the conflicting federal, state, and municipal school board regulations and standards, student motivation, and of course the type of school. Let's look at the last factor.
By the numbers, student performance by school type constantly changes, depending on the sample group and the duration measured. However, these findings were verified by the most trying standard of all: the dollar. Many tech companies have been forced to hire outside of America due to the lack of qualified American applicants. You can bet that for the pay these companies are offering, qualified Americans would fill these positions if there were enough. Here are a few cross sections that bespeak state of American education.
· On average, charter schools perform about the same or worse than public schools, according to a Stanford University study in 2009. To boot, only 1 in 5 charter schools outperform public schools.
· The Center on Education Policy found in 2007 that neither private school students nor public school students with similar backgrounds were more likely to attend college. In addition, low-income students attending public high schools performed just as well academically as low-income students attending private high schools.
· In 2006, the NAEP found that despite the "advantaged" populations that attend private and charter schools, public schools score exceptionally well and many times outscore private and charter schools. 
There are two documentaries that really bring the whole American school system into question. First is A Private Universe, in which filmmakers queried Harvard graduates how the seasons work. Surprisingly, they produced the same misconceived explanations that jr. highers gave. The second is more recent, Waiting for Superman. This documentary takes to task the teachers' unions like the AFT and holds them responsible for encumbering the current education system to the point of retardation. In any case, these are worth watching.
If you are the parent of a college-bound high school senior, then you might know something about the college application process and its accompanying anxieties, but it is not as if there were no reason for the concern. The perception that colleges are becoming increasingly selective is pervading this country and inciting a kind of mania among applicants and their parents, who are more than ever before shelling out the money for the non-refundable deposits, sometimes for up to 10 colleges. The good news is the circumstance is not so dire as it would seem.
Highly selective schools are experiencing a record-breaking number of applications, double digits even. By the numbers, Harvard has recently observed a 19% increase in applications from the previous year, some 27, 278 applications in total. The University of Chicago - an 18% increase and Northwestern University - 14%. This is enough to raise more than eyebrows. It is raising blood pressure so to speak, but the worry is superfluous.
The factors are simple enough to understand. Many institutions have switched to online applications, enabling students to apply to more schools. The spectrum of students who hail from lower socio-economic backgrounds has expanded, as has their application numbers. What's more is the advent of the Common App, now an online general college application that is accepted by a few hundred colleges, including some of the selective ones. That being said, the natural response for students is to apply to more schools, but that is counterproductive and expensive.
Furthermore, the amount of high school seniors in America has peaked in 2011 and is now on the decline. Less seniors means less applicants. Many colleges are continuing to expand the freshman class in response to earlier inundations, which means the amount of accepted applicants is increasing for a decreasing amount of applicants. All things considered, it will be easier to get into a highly selective school than is has been in the past decade if the trends continue as forecast.
These days education is becoming competitive among students in an unprecedented way, and acronyms like AP, IB, and CP are being thrown around so often it's hard to keep straight all their meanings and implications. By way of reminder, AP stands for Advanced Placement; CP means College Preparatory; finally, IB is the acronym for International Baccalaureate.
To start, there are 93 schools in the state of Colorado that use the IB primary, middle, and high school programs, but what does IB entail? The International Baccalaureate program began in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, and it was intended to produce highly educated, cosmopolitan students from children, whose parents were involved in diplomacy, international and multi-national organizations. Needless to say, the course work is rigorous and accelerated in comparison to typical courses for the same age groups. The IB program has been described by advocates to be a holistic, inter-disciplinary approach to a student's education.
Alongside IB programs is the Advanced Placement program (AP), which has gained speed in America in the past decade. The College Board, a non-profit organization based in New York, started the AP program in 1955. The idea behind AP courses is to present college level concepts and course work to high school students and then test them at the end of their courses, using a 1-5 grading scale. American colleges will often grant course credit and placement for AP courses in which students scored 3 or higher.
Although some people refer to AP as CP courses, they are not always the same. College preparatory (CP) courses contain a larger than typical course load and prepare students for college caliber work. They do not, however, provide college course credit like AP courses might.
It is usually the ambitious and highly motivated parents and students, who seek these programs out, but of course these programs have their opponents, who either maintain that they are ineffectual or that they overwork students or both. Only you as the parent and student can decide which organization or program best suits you and your academic goals.