If you’re considering changing careers or returning to college, the following list of resources may help you decide if this is the right choice for you.
A. Making the Decision to Return to College
Deciding to Enter or Return to College
Adult learners have a different approach to learning. Adults are most likely responsible for their own success and are capable of making decisions once they have the information they need. Most adult learners are women, aged 25-69. Adults are the fastest growing educational demographic. They may have stopped their college education because of military issues, marriage, starting a family, job and family responsibilities, divorce. They seek re-careering options, personal enrichment and job credibility, to be a role model, and make more money.
Malcolm Knowles a pioneer in adult learning, observed that adults learn best when they know why something is important.
- What motivates you and will lead to satisfaction? Complete the assessment similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, one of the most widely-respected personality assessments. After, read the type descriptions by D. Keirsey and J. Butt.
Then review your personality type from the above for potential career ideas, at the site below:
- What do you do well? What skills do you want to use or enhance? The check sheet below will help you build skills you might not know you have that you can transfer into your new life. Transferable Skills
- This step is more important than most people realize! Knowing what brings meaning to you is one way to define your values. If you can define your values, you might find a different path than you did years ago, when taking a job just for the money or to live in a certain area, or near that certain some one was how you decided on the job. Lifework List
- What interests you about your new life? This site will help you to look at your interests as identifies by renowned psychologist, John Holland. http://www.myfuture.com/careers/
Choosing a Career Path
Career Web Resources
Are you looking for reliable information on careers or to help you with career decision making?
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) - The OOH is a nationally recognized source of career information designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future careers and career directions. The OOH provides information about occupations from A-Z.
- The Occupational Information Network (O*NET Online) - The O*NET system serves as the nation's primary source of occupational information, providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations. You can find occupations using keywords, browsing by job families and high-growth industries, etc. You can also use a list of your skills to find matching occupations.
- Career InfoNet - CareerInfoNet can help you identify careers, education, and job options that best fit you. The site offers career videos, skills profiles, resume tutorial, and links to America's Job Bank.
- Where are the Footnotes - An online resource for non-traditional women students. Included are links to information about childcare, study skills, discount software and textbooks and time-saving meals when there is no time to spare. A message board connects with other non-traditional students.
- 10 Steps to a successful Career Change - Interested in a new job or career? Follow our Ten Steps to a Successful Career Change to explore career options and choose a new career within or outside your current industry or career field.
- Career Change Tools for the Midlife Woman - Work is an expression of who we are - a meaningful and satisfying career meshes with our values, our talents and what is truly important to us.
- Ten Tips for the Stay-at-Home Parent: Overcoming Your Employment Gap - Concerned about getting back in the workforce after a gap in your employment? How will your resume as a stay-at-home Mom or Dad, with a 10-year employment gap, stack up against those of people who have been racking up career achievements and accomplishments for the same ten years?
- Regional Economic and Workforce Strategies: A Focus on the Mature Workforce Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Council on Competitiveness. This paper provides a look at the strategies and programs that regional leaders can use to help the mature workforce transition to high-demand and well-paying jobs. Economic, prosperity depends heavily on the quality of the workforce, and yet far too few regions have recognized their best underutilized asset: the mature workforce. This paper offers ideas to help regional leaders foster jobs and professional growth for mature workers. Strategies for connection plus 50 workers with high-demand careers are offered, and outreach to plus 50 workers through workshops, career fairs and training are examined. The authors encourage employers to adopt new practices that facilitate the learning and careers of mature workers, and offers suggestion for policy makers too. The paper is part of the Tapping Mature Talent Initiative, funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies. AACC's Plus 50 Initiative is mentioned on pages 9, 13, and 14. Read an introduction and download a pdf copy of paper.
- Employer-Practices Locator: Mature Workforce. This helpful database offers a wealth of resources for those working with plus 50 workers. Registration for this site is free, and access is immediate. Use the keyword feature to browse the resources, or enter your own search terms to pull up articles about plus 50 employees, and how employers can work more effectively with them. Includes resources from AARP, the Conference Board, the media, and many publications. Visit the database.
Resources for Non-Traditional Students
- Life Experience Credit: Binghamton University's Human Development majors within the College of Community and Public Affairs, may receive up to 8 credits for academically oriented life experience.
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP): College-Level Examination® (CLEP) gives you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know by earning qualifying scores on any of 33 examinations. Earn credit for knowledge you've acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits, or internships. Depending on your college's CLEP policy, a satisfactory score on a CLEP exam can earn your from 3 to 12 college credits. The cost of a CLEP exam is $77. To read Binghamton University's CLEP policy: http://www2.binghamton.edu/harpur/advising/transfer/clep-exams.html
- DANTES Exams: A wide range of examination programs to assist military personnel in earning college credit for what they already know. Accepted at almost 1,000 academic institutions across the U.S. Exams are open to non-military personnel.
- College Credit Recommendations Service: This program evaluates and recommends college credit for coursed and examinations administered through business, labor, governments, associations and other organizations.
- American Council on Education's Military Programs: Provides service with step-by-step instructions on how to find out about college credit for experiences in the military.
- Thomas Edison State College Examination Program: Motivated and independent learners select tests in a subject area they have prior knowledge or experience in. Test prep is available for advanced level or lower level exams in 50 subjects.
- Learning Counts: College credit for what you already know.
- Adult Students Online companion to Siebert's and Karr's Book, The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success, 6th edition.
- Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education
- Back to College
- American Association of Community Colleges Plus 50 Initiative Ageless Learning resources.
- Seven Facts You Must Know Before Going Back to School
- Re-Careering at Any Age
- The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success, 6th Edition by Al Siebert, Ph.D and Mary Karr, M. S.
- New Beginnings: A guide for Adult Learners and Returning Students by Linda Simon.
- Newer Too Late to Learn: An Adult Student's Guide to College by Vicky Phillips.
- How to Earn a College Degree When You Think You are Too Old, Too Busy, Too Broke and Too Scared by E. Faith Ivery, Ed.D.
You might need to live and/or work in one geographic area, but you can attend college without geographic limitations
- Directory of Online Colleges, Internet Universities and Training Institutes: Accredited colleges and universities offering on-line courses and programs.
Tips for Succeeding
- Don't be intimidated by your professors. E-mail them and contact them in a way they tell you to. They really are there to assist you.
- This University offers tutoring, counseling, academic advising and career advisement. Use these services. You know how much each of those services cost in the real world - here they are part of the package.
- Introduce yourself to the staff at the libraries. They have all sorts of information on everything! The Bartle Library Information desk is now my to-to place for anything I might be wondering.
- If you have a break between classes, find the Commuter Lounge and the Memorial Courtyard. They are great places to relax for a few minutes.
- Say hello to other Non-Traditional students. It can be intimidating sitting in a classroom where you are the only or one of a few adult students.
- Check out the B-Line, it isn't just for campus residents. There are a lot of events and lectures that allow you to network with the faculty.
- Stop lugging your laptop around! Check out the PODS or borrow a laptop from the library. I carry a thumbdrive or USB.
- Be proud of yourself! It is really difficult to go back to school, and you are balancing school, work or family as well as your day to day life. Give yourself a pat on the back!
- See the Non-Traditional Student Blog
Attitude is everything! We are here because we want to learn new information and skills, to become better equipped for life. Success is often a choice we make. Make your education count. Decide you will be open to learning; open to new ideas; open to fully engaging with the information, professor, and students. When here, as well as required classes and topics of interest, select one or two classes in subjects you know nothing about. Get outside of your comfort zone in learning. Choose to have a positive attitude. It really is your decision in whether you have a positive or negative experience. We have a tremendous opportunity that very few people get, just by being Binghamton University students. We are investing money and time, so make it count. Gain everything you can gain while you are here.
Take time to rest and play. If all you do is read and create papers, life is passing you by, and you will quickly crash and burn. Life has to contain moments of fun, enjoyment and love also. Obviously the week before the major project is due is not the time to go on vacation - unless your project is completed and you are celebrating. But working every day 10-12 hours a day is also not good. Take a break now and then from studying. Get up, stretch, move around. Get enough sleep. Try to take one day a week to not do schoolwork or employment duties. Take time to enjoy life
B. Once You Become a Student
Community and Campus Based Programs
- Parents who want some guidance to make parenting the best it can be, contact a PACT Home Visitor at 607-240-2014.
- Parents with children under age 5 can go to the the Family Resource Centers (call 607-772-8953) in Binghamton, Johnson City or Endicott and meet other parents, attend workshops and allow children to play.
- Child care information is available at the Family Enrichment Network, 607-723-8313, ext. 829.
- McNair Scholars are low-income or first-generation college students and/or students from groups historically under-represented in doctoral study who desire to pursue a doctorate degree (http://www2.binghamton.edu/mcnair/aboutus.html)
- Educational Opportunity Outreach to Disadvantaged Students - The TRIO program assists low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities to progress through to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO's Student Support Services provides academic support and counseling for Binghamton University students in conjunction with Educational Opportunity Program. http://www2.binghamton.edu/trio/
- New Binghamton University MBA program in NYC: Binghamton's School of Management is initiating an 18-month executive MBA program in midtown Manhattan that will begin in September 2011. SOM faculty will serve as instructors in classes on Saturdays. Participants will enter together and serve as resources to each other. Space is limited. An undergraduate degree in business is not required; however, applicants should have a minimum of five years of full-time business or professional experience. For more information, or to apply, contact Associate Dean George Bobinski at email@example.com or 607-777-2315.
- BUC$ (Binghamton University Card System): The BUC$ account is a declining debit account accessed by the student's Binghamton University ID card. All purchases are automatically deducted from each personal account. It is a great way to eliminate the need to carry cash. Books, school supplies, munchies, and snack and soda vending may be purchased using the BUC$ account. In addition, the card may now be used in the Bartle and Science libraries for photocopying and printing, the academic PODs for printouts, the University Unions shops (Munchies, Take One Video), the Commons Cafe, the Food Co-Op, the University Health Service and off-campus merchants. It's easy to use; just swipe your card in the available slot on or near the machines and receive your merchandise.
- Binghamton University Continuing Education & Outreach Older Adult Auditor Program.
- UC Irvine Provides Free Online Science Information Tutorial: The Science Information Tutorial (three sections "Creating, Sharing and Finding Science Information," "Science and Engineering Sources and Resources" and "Reading, Evaluating and Citing Information") will offer participants an understanding of the fundamental processes of knowledge creation and scholarly communication in the basic and applied sciences. Available to learners nationwide free of charge.
Choosing a Major
Improving Studying, Note Taking and Test Taking Strategies
Improving Your Writing
Improving Your Math Skills
Exercises in Math Readiness for University Study in Science, Business, and Engineering
- Created by the math department at the University of Saskatchewan, these exercises test many math skills. Choose an area from the main menu. Then click directly on the math topic for a brief review, or click on an exercise button. A green button is introductory exercises, yellow is for moderate exercise or red button is for advanced exercises. http://math.usask.ca/emr/menu.html
Tools for Students
- Tips for Learning a Foreign Language
- Student Tools and Resources - Collection of helpful student resources
- Mind Tools: A site that deals with career-related skills, offers information and tools on stress, memory, project planning, creativity, information and study skills, and mastering complexity.
- Taking Notes From a Textbook - Athabasca University website, Get the Most From Your Textbook, provides a general overview on how to be more effective in taking notes from your textbook.
- Marking a Text - George Washington University Academic Success Center demonstrates techniques for taking effective notes.
- Other Note-taking Systems - Cal Poly's Academic Skills Center provides examples of note-taking methods such as mapping, charting and the Cornell Note-taking Method.
- Reading Textbooks Effectively - Using a time-tested study method (the SQ3R0 to read college textbooks, the Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center provides guidance on how to read effectively and efficiently.
Resources for Non-Traditional Students
Scholarly Sources Online
- Most standard sources of information aren't adequate for academic purposes; what you need is the information and in-depth research found only in scholarly sources. Use the sites below to find scholarly source online that can aid your research or writing.
Insights for Scholarly Sources Online
- Scholarly sources aren't meant to be easy to read or understand. They are often first-hand sources, or come from people and organizations that deal specifically with your topic of interest.
- Start by checking out library websites. They often have directories and list of useful online tools and resources. For example, the New York Public Library has a comprehensive directory of librarian-selected and annotated links to sites with information on a variety of topics.
- The Online Education Database's article, "Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources,"details Google alternatives ranging from the invisible Web to search engines specializing in things like art, government data and transportation.
Top sites for Scholarly Sources Online
- INFOMINE, compiled by various libraries, is a good resource for university-level research. Find links to databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, articles, researcher directories and more.
- Directory of Open Access Journals provides free access to full-text online journals. Search by title or by subject to perform research or just explore.
- WorldCat is a bibliographic database. It allows users to locate books in a catalogs from more than 10,000 libraries around the world. With bibliographic information for thousands of items, users can also read reviews and summaries.
- Google Book Search allow users to discover new books, read reviews and excerpts, and search within the text of a book. You'll also find links to online stores and actual libraries that carry the book.
- U.S. Census Bureau provides statistics from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and other organizations. You'll find stat on a variety of things such as income level and household pet ownership.
- The CIA World Factbook invites you to select a country or location and then presents that country's flag, places it on a map and provides a thorough overview. Learn about a country's people, geography, economy, military, transportation, communications and more.
For a way to share your finds...
- Connotea lets you store and share your scholarly sources using keyword tags to organize them as you like. The tool is free and easy to use, making it a snap to access and share your references.
- CiteULike shares your favorite scholarly resources and lets you look through the sources of other users. You'll also find news, discussion and search groups.
For legal reference...
- The Public Library of Law offers a free searchable database of case law, statutes, regulations, court rules, constitutions and legal forms. Basic searches offer resources from the paid database Fastcase (also the site's sponsor), and advanced options allow you to search for resources from specific jurisdictions and ranges.
Math and Science
Counseling Center Electronic Pamphlets with Android and iPhone Apps
C. Money/Scholarships for Adult Learners/Non-Traditional Students
- Binghamton University External Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards (Very useful site)
- AAIA Displaced Homemaker Scholarship: The Association on American Indian Affairs' Displace Homemaker Scholarships. Deadline for application is July 20.
- Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Programs: Financial support and guidance to adults in a variety of transitional situations. To be eligible candidates must meet educational and financial requirements.
- AFCEA Scholarship for Working Professionals: Scholarship is for an undergraduate degree while employed in the science and technology disciplines directly related to the mission of AFCEA. Candidates must be a t least second-year students attending school on a part-time basis, and having a declared major in a science or technology degree program.
- Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society: Awarded to any student at an institution that has an institution that has an Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter and who meets specified criteria.
- Charles R. Ford Scholarship: One (1) scholarship awarded annually, to an active member of the Jaycees who is a U.S. citizen and wishes to return to a college or university to complete his or her formal education.
- Kazimour Scholarship: Applicant must be a member of ANTSHE (Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education. Provides money for 2- or 4-year and grad school.
- The Non-Traditional Student Scholarship: For a returning student after formal schooling was interrupted or a student who has had at least one year of college and is in need of financial assistance to pursue an undergraduate degree. Applicants must be a member of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, or Sons of the American Legion.
- Royal Neighbors of America, Nontraditional Scholarships: Provides educational support to members who don't fall into the college-age range.
- The Wal-Mart Higher REACH Scholarships: For non-traditional students employed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for at least one year as of February 1.
- Project Working Mom & Dad, Too! Scholarship: Each month, a $4,000 scholarship to use towards college education. Use the money to pay for tuition and fees, books, supplies-whatever you need, any place you choose. Visit this web site to apply for your share of $2 million in scholarships for working parents.
- eLearners.com, an online education resource that connects learners with online education, and which created the Project Working Mom campaign, also created an interactive, in-depth Web site to help learners tackle their questions and fears about returning to school. The site is designed to empower working parents and offers: advice on going back to school; self-assessment quizzes on numerous, subjects including how to determine what subjects to study; an online support community; numerous articles; and, a database with $15 billion in financial aid opportunities.
- FastWeb: A free customized list of financial aid sources, such as private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans from more than 3,000 sources. First-time visitors must register (first and last name and a user ID), and provide background and fields of study. Registrants then receive a list of all currently relevant funding sources. The process can be tedious, up to 15 minutes. But registration information is stored and can be used later, and 500 new scholarships are added daily.
- Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholarships 2012-2013 academic year: Nine $1700 scholarships nationally to non-traditional students. Binghamton University's chapter is Beta Upsilon Alpha.
- Sodexo's Internship Fund offers talented undergraduates financial support while completing unpaid summer internships. A maximum of 10 students per year receive a stipend of $5,000 each to defray lost incomes resulting from unpaid internships. Preference is for current Sodexo student employees and students who may not have an unpaid internship due to financial constraints. See CDC's website.
- Nontraditional undergrad students can apply to be an Ambassador for the Center for Civic Engagement and focus on outreach to nontraditional students population. Ambassadors will table, make presentations, help organize CCE events etc. Must have completed one year of study at Binghamton. Watch for the application at the end of each term.
- Career Development Grants: For women with a bachelor's degree preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force. Consideration is given to AAUW members, women of color, and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields.
- Career Advancement Scholarship: The BPW Foundation award is for disadvantaged women to further their education, and advance in their career, or re-enter the workforce.
- EFWA (Accounting) Women in Transition (WIT) Scholarship: Applicants are primarily homemakers, or they do not posses a college degree. Applicants should be incoming or current freshman, or those returning to school with a freshman status.
- EFWA (Accounting) Women in Need (WIN) scholarships: Eligible applicants are farther along in the degree process than Women In Transition applicants, such as incoming or current juniors, or those returning to school with sufficient credits to qualify for junior status.
- Jeannete Rankin Foundation: For low-income women (over the age of 35) who have a vision of how their education will benefit themselves, their families and their communities.
- Linda Lael Miller Scholarships: For women aged 25 years or older, non-traditional students who have a difficult time finding scholarships for which they qualify.
- P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education: Provides grants up to $1,500 for educational expenses, (e.g., tuition, books, transportation, childcare) to women whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to resume studies due to changing demands in their lives.
- R.T.N. Scholarship for Continuing Education: Available to single parent women who would like to go to school or continue with their education, but have been denied sufficient resources.
- Society of Women Engineers Reentry Scholarships: To assist women in obtaining the credentials necessary to reenter the workforce as engineers. Restricted to women who have been out of the engineering workforce as well as out of school for a minimum of two years prior to reentry.
- Soroptimist's Women's Opportunity Awards: For women entering or re-entering the workforce in obtaining the education and skills needed to improve their employment status. Applicants can attend a vocational/skills training program, or an undergraduate degree program.
- Talbot's Women's Scholarship Fund: Applicants must seek an undergraduate degree from an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or vocational-technical school. Awards are based on financial need and previous achievements for women who earned a high school diploma or GED at least 10 years ago.
- WANDA BARTLE/BARNES & NOBLE BOOK AWARDS: The University Women and Campus Bookstore has awards for textbooks. One award is for spring '11 and another for fall '12. Selection is by the University Women's Club of Binghamton University. Applicants must be female undergraduates with a minimum 3.0 Binghamton University GPA with proof of financial aid and be involved in community service and/or planning a profession helping others. Contact Beth Kilmarx firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kelly Pueschel Klpuesch@binghamton.edu
- Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation for Low-Income Women and Children
- Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program
- Leading the Future II Scholarship
- Ragins/Braswell National Scholarship
- Dr. Angela Grand Memorial Scholarship Fund
- Russ Griffith Memorial Scholarship (formerly Returning Student Scholarship)
Never pay to have someone locate possible scholarships. This information is available to you online for free.
Credit Union Members
D. Graduate School
Graduate School Information
Graduate Student Funding