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 2: 12/1/2006

Planning for a successful return to school

Planning for a successful return to school

Increasing numbers of adults are returning to school and having success. The key is to be aware of the challenges and to have a plan in place to overcome them.

When you realize all that the Union Education Trust has to offer and all that you can gain from returning to school, developing new skills, and improving your ability to compete in the workplace it is easy to get excited! Tempering that excitement is the reality of balancing new academic responsibilities against the continuing responsibilities adults face, including family and work. Having a plan in place can help an adult who is returning to school to maximize his or her opportunity to have a successful academic experience.

Being motivated and having a positive attitude is a great start, but personal motivation alone is no guarantee of achieving educational goals. The support of those around you is an important component of your success.

Points to consider:

  • Is your family, spouse or partner supportive of your return to school and prepared for the time that you will spend in class and studying? Have you talked through and planned for the amount of time that school will require?
  • Do you have a plan that will enable you to be a student and feel comfortable with your family obligations? Many adults returning to school face situational barriers, such as the cost of education. UET can help offset the cost by providing up to $2,000 per fiscal year. But there are other barriers that require consideration and planning.

Additional points to consider:

  • Child care is a concern for many adults who are returning to school. Does the school have a program for children? Are child care facilities available in your neighborhood? Are there family members who could assist with your children?
  • Transportation must be reliable. Do you have a means of getting to class? Is public transportation available? If you plan to drive yourself, is there adequate parking and is it safe? Will the cost of driving and parking make going back to school too difficult? How long will your commute be? Is it realistic? Are there alternatives, such as distance learning?
  • To be a successful student, you need time to study and complete assignments. Have you put together a realistic schedule? Have you identified a place that minimizes interruptions? Will you have access to a library where you can do the research many courses require?

Colleges and universities have become increasingly responsive to the needs of non-traditional-age students who work full time. Consider looking into any programs or assistance your school offers students.

Some adults are taking advantage of the new technologies and distance learning opportunities available today. You may have more control balancing work time with family time. However, to be successful committing to a distance learning program, consider:

  • What is the type of distance learning best suited to your needs? This depends on the topic of study, your goals, your work situation and your learning style. Some people need both the strong visual and spoken message that can come only from certain forms of distance learning. Others do just fine with a more text-based approach.
  • Are you able to focus on your studies despite distractions? Distance learning requires that you set aside time for study and put in the required effort and it's more self-driven than traditional classroom study.
  • There are trade-offs with distance learning: Distance learning offers flexibility in your learning schedule and freedom from travel while requiring you to give up some of the social aspects of classroom instruction.

Another resource is UET's Career Counseling program. A team of professional career counselors is available to assist you with your career. You can communicate with one of the counselors by dialing the toll-free number (800-980-6973) or by sending an e-mail to careerdevelopment@usa.net. Inquiries to the career counselors are confidential.