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.
Do your research
First: Erase all self-doubt. You CAN go back to college. The best part of continuing your education is that you can choose what to study and select a program and courses that appeal to your interests and talents.
As an adult learner, you have life experience and common sense going for you. This means you know to make use of all resources available to you. An ideal place to start is using the career exploration tools on the UET website in your MYUET account. Here you can research what career options make the best use of your skills, interests and personality.
Next, have you read through the Union Education Trust’s website or print materials to learn what funding is available to you? Many schools and colleges are part of the career improvement program’s College Credit Voucher Program (CV) which pays for tuition, lab, and computer and technology fees for college-credit courses. This means you don’t have to pay the college: You deliver the voucher directly to the school to cover those expenses up to $3,500 per fiscal year.
There are other sources of useful advice. Find an advisor in your program of study who can guide you in course selection and how a degree or certificate will enhance your career. Learn what services the college’s career center offers.
Read through the student handbook – either online or in print format – to understand what courses are required. Does the school have a writing center? A tutoring center?
A new reality
The other challenge to returning to college is making this new commitment fit into your already busy lifestyle. You’re employed and have a family and friends. Your hours are filled with responsibilities to others and now you need to add one more: A responsibility to yourself.
Some research will make this aspect of returning to college smoother too. Perhaps you want to get your feet wet by taking one online course through distance learning. These classes are more flexible in that you can learn and do homework when it’s convenient to you. However, it can be challenging to carve out the time and quiet to complete the work.
Another “try-it-out” option is to take a refresher-type class, either a computer course or perhaps a writing class. Either will reassure you that you are up to speed in the skills needed to pursue further education.
Or you could jump right in and take a course that sounds interesting and informative. This will whet your appetite for further study in the topic.
Returning to college is not easy as an adult, but it is worth the added challenges. The sense of accomplishment – as well as setting a positive example for younger members of your family – is payoff enough. The additional credentials make you a more valuable employee and an asset to your workplace.