CEW Releases Nontraditional Student Study
For more than 50 years, CEW has been dedicated to encouraging and enhancing the education and careers of adult women through its programs and services, scholarships and advocacy. During this time, CEW has developed strong expertise and a track record for helping female nontraditional students succeed. We have also seen the definition of “nontraditional” evolve over time – from the returning female student of the 1960s to our current constituency who represent increasingly diverse identities and life experiences. We also know, from our work, that many of these students’ paths to education and careers have been non-linear, and that matriculating in a traditional, elite institution like the University of Michigan presents unique challenges to the nontraditional student. To ensure that our understanding of the needs of this group remains current and robust, CEW undertook a study of nontraditional students in Spring/Summer of 2015.
This study is the most in-depth examination of the nontraditional student experience at U-M in recent years, and involved 12 focus groups comprised of students, faculty, and staff from U-M’s Ann Arbor campus. In total, more than 22 hours of audio were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. The Executive Summary highlights some of the major themes and findings, as well as recommendations. It is our intent that CEW will use these findings, along with decision-makers, faculty, and staff at the University, to improve the curricular and co-curricular experiences of nontraditional students on the Ann Arbor campus.