community colleges

Community colleges see success with varied semester start dates

Flexible semesters could help nontraditional students complete degrees at community colleges

Nontraditional students make up more than half of today’s higher-ed student body, and community colleges are stepping up to meet their unique needs in big ways.

Research from the American Council on Education shows that almost 60 percent of U.S. undergraduate students are nontraditional, meaning they are 25 or older, work full-time, and have work, family, or other obligations that require flexibility in their educational options.

Depending on their personal or professional obligations, this population of students may need a number of flexible options to see academic success.

In Maine, the state’s hospitality service is usually busy into late September and early October. But this extended idea of the summer job means community college students who work in hospitality aren’t saying goodbye to summer and heading into classrooms in August.

Laura Ascione