Non-traditional students key to college completion goal

Roughly 40 percent of America’s college students are non-traditional students. They are workers who’ve gone back to school, former members of the military embarking on new careers and single parents wanting to do better for their families. They could also be one of the most important game-changers in the ongoing national discussion on college completion and the continuing dialogue at College Inc. about how to fix higher education, says Alan Tripp, CEO of InsideTrack, a San Francisco firm that offers personalized academic coaching to boost college retention.  Colleges are struggling with graduation rates and according to a recent analysis of 1,400 colleges and universities by the Chronicle of Higher Education, one third of four-year institutions experienced lower graduation rates over the six-year period ending in 2008. Not surprisingly, that downward turn is also reflected in news that the U.S., once a leader, is losing ground to other nations in the percentage of its citizens who complete college…

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