UET Online Magazine

Welcome UET Members

As part of our ongoing efforts to share information, the UET Online Magazine features important announcements on events and learning opportunities for bargaining unit employees. Listed below are links to specific timely information for UET Members. Create or update your User Profile by clicking MyUET to receive program updates and the UET Online Magazine by e-mail.

Issue 6: 10/1/2008

Back to school for adult learners, too

Back to school for adult learners, too

It’s fall, and most families have settled back into the school routine. Several months ago, when the stores were full with back-to-school wardrobes and supplies, many parents were busy looking through fliers to find the best prices on all the notebooks, pencils, folders and art supplies that your child is required to bring in on the first day of classes.

For some people, it all brings back memories of the excitement of finding out your teacher and seeing friends again. For others, perhaps more of a feeling of dread that the freedom of summer is over and the challenges of schooling are back.

Either way, have you considered returning to school yourself? On your own terms? Increasing numbers of adults are returning to school and having success. The key is to have a goal and be aware of the challenges.

And if your first concern is that you aren’t smart enough or just can’t do it, take a deep breath and erase those doubts. You can do it. Many of your co-workers have had the same fears and concerns and have surprised themselves. You can succeed too.

Taking one class, whether it’s a Union Education Trust Computer Application Training or a Professional Enhancement workshop or Career Improvement Program college class, is a great way to start. No pressure or long commitment – just one class to get your feet wet.

But if you know what degree program or certificate that you want to achieve, then it’s more a matter of selecting a school or method of training. Are you organized and self-motivated enough (and computer literate enough) to do a distance-learning program? Or would you prefer a traditional campus and classroom setting?

Either way, cliffsnotes.com suggests several considerations for an adult learner:

  • Does the school offer day-care services?
  • Does the academic program grant credits for life or work experience?
  • Does the school offer support services or groups to help you connect with other students like you?
  • Does the college or university offer counseling services for adult learners to help them transition into student life?
  • Does the school offer a special orientation series geared toward adult learners?
  • Do the educational programs offer financial aid for nontraditional students?
  • Does the school allow for flexible scheduling to better enable you to fulfill your work, home and school responsibilities?

The greatest challenge for you may not be the school work – whether you are writing papers, reading textbooks or preparing projects – it may be the balancing act of staying committed to your family, being a productive public employee, and keeping up with school.

For more on being an adult learner, see this UET article.

Another resource for anyone considering returning to school, whether it’s this fall or sometime in the future, is UET’s Career Counseling program. This benefit provides phone or e-mail based career counseling services with personal one-on-one interaction.

For immediate assistance and for more information, call (800) 980-6973, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or send an e-mail message to uet.career@pickawayross.com. Inquiries to the career counselors are confidential.

So, as you stop and wait behind a yellow school bus during your morning commute, consider what a degree or certificate could mean to you. Pride of accomplishment? A new skill at your current job? Opportunity for advancement? It could be all these and more.