Meeting Adult Student Needs
The Center for Continuing Education (CCE) at Guilford College is celebrating 60 years as a destination for adult students in the Triad and beyond.
“Guilford College has been helping adult students earn their college degrees since 1953. We understand the challenges they face and have developed programs to meet adult student needs,” said Rita Serotkin, associate vice president and dean for continuing education, who has led the program since 2006.
Guilford’s adult degree program was the first at a college or university in the state. For the first 20 years classes were taught in downtown Greensboro; and in 1973, the program was moved to the campus on West Friendly Avenue. CCE is headquartered in Hendricks Hall.
This fall, approximately 1,000 of the College’s 2,300 students are adults, and adult headcount has been at or above 1,000 every semester since the spring of 2004. The adult population is diverse in terms of students’ ages and backgrounds, and women and minorities are well represented.
Students who are 23 years of age and older benefit from convenient scheduling (a full-time course load is possible in two evenings per week) and support through the Learning Commons and friend-to-friend peer mentoring. Adults also have their own student government association.
Some adults take classes during the day; however, Guilford offers 12 majors that can be completed exclusively in the evening. Staff members are available three evenings per week to advise and assist adult students. During the application process, Guilford will obtain transcripts of students’ previous college work.
“I transferred from a four-year college in South Carolina. I was able to take those credits and transfer them seamlessly,” said Marlon Summers, a business administration major who wanted more education in order to advance in the corporate world.
Many students cite the personalized attention and the strong sense of community on the campus as reasons for choosing Guilford.
“The professors I’ve had here have been wonderful and have helped me because they want to see me succeed,” said Sharon Yancey, an accounting major. “The adult transitions course was helpful. We did a lot of writing … it also got me acquainted with campus life.”
“I’ve had lots of memorable experiences. Some include late-night studying, but mostly being part of the Guilford community, such as being part of the student government,” said Rachel Campbell, a forensic biology and psychology major.
As it was in 1953, Guilford’s commitment to adult education remains strong in a time when having a college degree is more important than ever.
“Whether they are returning to school or starting on their college journey, our adult students have access to an excellent liberal arts education and a nurturing experience that is a hallmark of a small college, and especially Guilford,” said President Kent Chabotar.
“Adult and traditional students bring different life experiences to the classroom and other activities, and that strengthens our community. We are proud to be modeling life-long learning at Guilford.”
There’s more information on the adult program web pages.